May 28, 2021
By Andy Von Pip
If, as some critics claim, guitar music is dead then it appears New York power trio UV-TV didn’t get the memo. On their third full-length studio album Always Something, founding members Rose Vastola (guitars/vox) and Ian Bernacett (guitars), plus latest recruit Ian Rose (drums), have finessed their sound, finding beauty in chaos and crafting soaring melodies whilst still staying true their restless DIY punk spirit.
The band wrote Always Something during 2020’s first lockdown, their creativity propelled by not just the world’s chaotic response to the global pandemic, but also the boredom of having life so restricted. With all the old certainties gone, who knew such a potential cataclysmic global event could also feel so banal? According to the band’s press notes the album was also inspired by the “inevitability of inconveniences and false hopes,” as they attempted to “recreate the throbbing rhythms, pulsating vibrations and grinding monotony of the day-to-day hustle that existed before COVID.”
Always Something really does inject excitement back into guitar music and Bernacett’s incendiary intricate guitar riffs are a thing of beauty and are genuinely thrilling, with an intensity and kinetic energy that is quite irresistible. Couple that with Vastola’s sweet but snarling vocals, Always Something plays to the trio’s strengths and whilst UV-TV wear their influences proudly on their collective sleeves, they also stamp their personality onto each and every track. The epic “Wildflower” distils everything that’s great about UV-TV, former single “Distant Lullaby” sounds like Shop Assistants colliding with Dinosaur Jr. Elsewhere tracks such as “Plume” and the wistful “Holland Sunday” slow things down a tad and positively drip with lachrymose beauty. “I Don’t Mind” sounds like The Sundays on amphetamines, whilst the driving title track feels like a lost ’90s classic residing somewhere between The Breeders and Lush.
Guitar music isn’t dead, although some of the dreadful derivative “lad bands” currently being inflicted on the UK music scene have been doing their best to lay it to rest with their passionless “focus -group” rock, which is essentially an anaemic facsimile of the past. UV-TV, however, show just how you can take your influences and meld them into something shiny and new and imbue it with excitement, swagger, and melody. Once again it’s New York-based artists who appear to be leading the way and infusing new life into indie guitar music. (uvtvmusic.com)
Author rating: 8.5/10
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