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UUVVWWZ – UUVVWWZ [Saddle Creek]

November 11, 2009

In perhaps the oddest press release we’ve received in a long time, the grand finale comes in the form of these two sentences: ‘UUVVWWZ is a rare bird. We’ve pinned it down to the tray and it’s all splayed out, ready for dissection.’

Now we know what you’re thinking: ‘Eurghh’. So before someone alerts the NSPCA and the squeamish, for fear of bloodshed, depart sharpish, we can confirm that an album accompanied this release and not some exquisite winged creature crassly nailed to a stainless-steel board.

Often it’s tiring pulling apart records at their seams, especially when comparisons and descriptive jargon has to be pulled out from all types of murky swamps to adequately describe its content. But we’d be out of a job, if we just told you to bog off and have a listen yourself – so here goes:

Pronounced ‘double u, double v, double u, double u, zee’, UUVVWWZ hail from Lincoln, Nebraska which is a about as middle America as you can get. But hip, offbeat bands lurk in a variety of unexpected places these days; so let’s get past that bit.

The foursome don’t seem to have settled into their own jagged boots yet, switching from bluesy tracks like ‘Shark Suit’ to punkish belters like ‘Jap Suit’ before you can finish saying their predominantly consonant-filled name. But the one constant holding together UUVVWWZ’s schizophrenic, grizzled riffs is lead singer Teal Gardner’s voice that sweetly envelops their sound like a heavy dose of valium.

Even when she’s screeching it’s distinctly saccharine but when Teal slows it down for ‘Nealaño’ or ‘The Sun’, it’s utterly sublime. But the real winner of this whole affair is ‘Castles’, blowing like the calmest of oceans, with short bursts of an ecstatic crash culminating in a climax of falsetto, breaking the peace with genius effects. If these are the boots UUVVWWZ are gonna grow into, then I wanna get me some.

[Originally reviewed for Bearded Magazine]

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