Saddle Creek | UUVVWWZ | Reviews


UUVVWWZ – the trusted language Review

Author: JEDowney
02/06/2013 | Ear Buddy | | Album Review
6.2 / 10

I try to avoid sounding presumptuous and condescending, but stuff like this is hard to approach on its own terms. To recap: UUVVWWZ (pronounced “double U, double V, double W, Z”) are an avant-blues quartet signed to Saddle Creek, and this is how they talk about their sophomore album, the trusted language. They are quirky folks who are not sure how to express themselves, evidence by how they present themselves and how uneven this album is. I half-expect one of them to describe their music by saying “I don’t know, I just make sounds” at some point.

the trusted language starts off promising enough with two great opening songs that hint at a greater vision. “No Apart” is a slow burning piece about vague misery, and “GRIPS” grabs your throat and doesn’t let up for its runtime. These two songs are good stuff, and they indicate that there is so much more that this band can do. Unfortunately, the next three songs recycle the same sound and bring the album to a crawl. I can’t say that they are bad songs, but there’s only so many times in a row that I can bear to listen to the same sort of slow, angry song, especially on an album this short (eight songs that cover thirty-five minutes). The last third presents a welcome change of direction, but these might be the worst songs on the album from an objective standpoint, and the closing title track offers little closure.

This sound is executed well for the most part. These songs don’t sound easy to perform, and while lead singer Teal Gardner won’t be mistaken for a world class vocalist anytime soon, her performance over the course of this album is effective enough. It’s a sluggish listen, though, and it is hard to recommend an album that barely cracks half an hour but feels three times as long.


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