I have been following PacificUV since 2003, when the band still lived up the road in Athens. Well, they emigrated to the rainy Pacific NorthWest a long time back, and i suppose that the dreary weather in that part of the world makes them not the most productive of bands. Heck, if i had to live in a rainy place, you would see less content here on EvilSponge as i attempt to cope with the "no sunshine blues" all of the time, so i am not blaming them. It is just that this only their third album and fifth release overall, in about 14 years.
However, i suppose that there is something be said for quality over quantity. Weekends is another great PacificUV record, only this one comes across as more electronic than their previous efforts. Not to say that the band are now making dubstep, but rather that their psychedelic pop now has more keyboards, synths, and electro beats in it.
The record starts off with Friday Night Dream a short intro of strings and burbling electro noises. This fades into the happy synthpop of Funny Girl, which is one of the best songs i have heard in a while. Seriously. The synths bounce happily, and hi-hat taps a steady monotonous beat under chiming guitars as the vocalist sings clearly in a way that reminds me of Michael Grace singing for My Favorite, or maybe Gary Numan. It is a sort of clear, not quite bored, but very precise singing. But the whole tunes bounces along happily in a toe-tapping manner.
After this PacificUV give us the SPZ-damaged Just4kix. This has echoing guitars, droning keyboards, and the voice almost whispering the lyrics. Towards the middle, the beat , the drone, and the rhythm of the vocals gets off kilter, which is odd. However, the whole song builds slowly to a burbling explosion.
They mix it up again for Baby Blue, which has a deep wavering bass and chugging synths. I'm here (but it's not me) comes next, and is a similar bass and synths song. However, here there is a funky little bass beat layered under the burbling synths and the faint voice. This is funky and fun.
On Ballerina the voice is fed through a synthesizer, making this a dance tune sung by a robot. It has a groovy beat, wavering bass, and some nice guitars that whine on the chorus like something out of a MBV tune.
I suppose that ends the first part of the record, as the next track is Saturday Night Dream. This dream is less than two minutes of ambient synths in cascading waves. It is followed by High, where the drums really rumble, and the voice is hushed under some synths that sound like horns (or is that an actual horn section?). It reminds me of the more orchestral moments on Ladies and Gentlemen, We are Floating in Space.
Be My Only Shallow Love has a sparse electro beat, tons of layers of guitars chugging fuzzily, and a happy keyboard riff as the vocalist sings dispassionately. It moves along decently.
The next track, Going Home, bothers me. It is a slow song of synths and faint organ, which is okay enough. However, the vocals do not follow the beat. When i listen to a song, i expect the lyrical rhythm to match up with the rhythm of the song itself. Take those awful commercials for copy/print company Kyocera-Mita. There are six syllables in that name, but in the commercials they have a little jingle that is in 4/4 time, forcing the person singing the jingle to stretch out the syllables in a weird way... The vocals on this song do that as well, and it grates on my nerves. I guess if the lowest common denominator between the beat and the number of syllables in a line of lyrics is double digits, then you need to rethink your lyrics. PacificUV do this slightly on Just4kix, but here the disparity just annoys me.
There is another interlude next, Sunday Night Dream, which gets noisy as the synths soar up in the middle.
And finally things end with Unplug Me, which features a computer voice singing over a faint wash of synths. The song just ends suddenly, like something was literally unplugged. It is kind of a neat way to end the record.
Again, i am impressed. Aside from the odd lyrical rhythms in two songs, this is a near perfect record. It is noisy, catchy, dancey, and droney at different times, but PacificUV blend all of these elements together holistically. I continue to be impressed