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Focusing on the details, UV-TV put their extra time to good use on Always Something

"Always Something"

Release date: 28 May 2021
UV TV Album Artwork
27 May 2021, 09:00 Written by Ben Lynch
As day jobs went by the wayside and life at large paused last year, UV-TV, like much of the world, suddenly realised they had an abundance of one thing in particular; time.

Recently relocated to New York from Florida, the trio of Rose Vastola (guitars/vocals), Ian Bernacett (guitar) and new addition Ian Rose (drums), confined to their homes and with little hope of venturing into the world unencumbered again anytime soon, decided that they’d indulge in their new allowance and focus on giving their sound a refresh. Having made their name writing loose and bustling punk tunes, this time they decided to write more deliberately, making a conscious effort to focus on the nuances more than they had on their previous two records, 2019's Happy and 2017's Glass.

In reality, this increased attention manifests itself in a sound that, while retaining the fervour of their earlier work, is built around a combination of loose discordance and sprightly, often profoundly beautiful melodies. With one foot firmly in the camp of contemporary acts like Best Coast and the other in the ‘80s pop of Blondie and co, Always Something amps up the established template rather than opting for a drastic shift. Whether expressed via the endorphin rush of “Distant Lullaby” or the more ponderous and emotionally wrought “Plume”, UV-TV exercise sufficient control over their aesthetic to wrangle it into numerous forms of expression, while reflecting the most notable development in their style so far.

The dual components to their sound however don’t always work together in total concord. Opener “Overcast Forever” starts Always Something with a punch, but sadly it plateaus almost as soon as the first note is struck. At the other end of the record, “Holland Park” limps through four minutes of listless synths and guitars, a far cry from the deft beauty expressed so masterfully on the title track.

Despite such mishaps, it’s hard to argue however that Always Something missed its mark. Devised during a period of intense isolation, it imbues its sound with notions of hope as well as darkness, and boasts a sound more complete than anything the band have realised to date. As has been proven innumerable times, an abundance of time is not in itself a good thing. An abundance of time well spent however, as UV-TV have largely achieved, undoubtedly is.

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