Pacific UV were a sort of shoegazer band from
Athens, GA that i saw play at The EARL back in 2003. They put
on an admirable, noisy set. Their self-titled debut album even
had a favorable quote from Cocteau
Twin Simon Raymonde on it, so i picked up a copy at the
show. Well, in typical Georgia Indie form, the band had recorded
before they had ever really honed the songs in a live format.
What i saw, and what they recorded, were the same songs,
only very different.
On that first record, they were a Japancakes-esque band that made country rock with a bit of noisiness to it. Not shoegaze at all; instead, almost lethargic post-country. I found myself comparing their live performance to the recording, and finding the recording lacking. Oh well.
The band sort of faded away after then, until late last year when i saw this EP for sale. It was billed as a teaser for a new album, and a brief online sample listen showed that they were now recording much closer to what i remembered of their excellent live performance. So i picked this up, and have enjoyed it muchly in the past few months.
E.P. opens with squealing guitars and a deep bass riff in the song Know. The vocalist is hazy, buried under a thudding drum beat and see-sawing guitar riffs. The song moves along in a stop-start fashion, with slow interludes of tremolo suddenly jumping into frenetic riffing. It's one of my favorite songs of 2006, in fact, and a brilliant start to new recording.
The next track, Chemical is hazier, less noisy, but more distorted. The guitar buzzes away over a loping bass riff and some harmonized vocals that sound almost Phil Spectorish. Here, Pacific UV sound less Ride (as they do on Know) and more Verve-like. Another fine tune.
The third track is called 50s, and features an acoustic guitar in counterpoint to a heavily tremoloed guitar, backed by a loping rhythm and melancholy lyrics. It sounds like a lost hit by some surfer band from, well, the late 50s. Good stuff.
Pacific UV end their return by having fellow distorted rockers Eluvium remix the song L.A.P.D. vs. N.Y.P.D. from the first album. This is 6 minutes of overdriven guitar over lazy beats. As an instrumental, it works well, but i don't really think that this is that much of an improvement over what was arguably the best track on their debut record. Still, it's a nice end to E.P..
I am glad to see Pacific UV back in the game, even if they did have to emigrate to Portland, OR in order to do it. If their new record is of this quality, it will be worth hearing indeed.