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Pacific UV
Warm Records

Here's a brief, but compelling, release from Athens, GA's Pacific UV - funny, for some reason I'd thought they were from Germany until reading their bio. The EP is a stop gap between full length albums; the band's eponymous debut LP was released back in 2003, while the follow up is slated for winter 2007.

The first album was welcomed by shoegaze fans everywhere for its dreamy, woozy space rock; you could have been forgiven for thinking that Slowdive had reformed while listening to it, given all the echoed guitars and fey, muffled vocals, plus the stately tempo of the songs. The new songs on the EP (the last song is a remix of the the debut album's "LAPD vs. NYPD") are a bit of a departure, with some faster tempos, clearer singing and less effects. I'm reminded of the great Ambulance Ltd - about time those guys came up with a sequel to their fantastic debut, too.

"Know" kicks right off with insistent, buzzsaw guitars and pounding drums. It's quite reminiscent of one of Ride's faster numbers, from around the time of Going Blank Again, maybe. The effect is complete even down to the singer's somewhat English vowel sounds.

"Chemical" starts slow and shimmering, with zipping electronic effects to spice things up, then ups the tempo to a stroll with more fuzz guitar. This one harks bark even further to the prime of 60's Britpop - there are definitely some similarities to The Kinks in here.

"50s" is a nice ballad with shimmering guitars; the closest similarity I can think of here is one of The House Of Love's quieter moments - and you can't get a much better influence than that.

The "LAPD vs NYPD" (remixed by Eluvium) is much more of a return to the form of the first LP - instrumental, majestic, echo laden guitars ebb and flow with a wave-like crashing effect. It's an improvement over the original version, which starts off meandering and quiet before it builds to a true sonic cathedral (sorry, I couldn't resist using that one !)

Overall, it sounds like Pacific UV are developing nicely; I hope they keep some of the old sonic majesty on the new record, but new ideas are always welcome.

-Gareth Bowles

Track listing:
1. Know
2. Chemical
3. 50s
4. LAPD vs. NYPD (Eluvium remix)

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