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Universal You
Your Sin City
(self-released)
www.universalyou.co.uk


Black-ties, Marshall stacks, and… a goatee? It's the combination of glamour and spunk that brings Universal You to the front. The Scotland-based trio released their latest single "Your Sin City", a tribute to the 90s-rock of Counting Crows and Goo-Goo Dolls. Comprised of just two guitars and a vocalist, Universal You does well for such sparse arrangement. "Your Sin City" wavers between polished pop queens Paramore and Garbage and alternative idols Karen O and Grace Slick. The guitars are crunchy, the vocals are creamy, and the volume knob is at eleven.

The new single begins with a chopping flurry from a helicopter before exploding into a power-chord chorus. Lead guitar lines batter back and forth before ending with a catchy guitar outro and cymbal crash. There is a vintage tint to Universal You, a sound that places the band between the commercial consumers and those who appreciate a group that is a bit unrefined. Lead guitar licks occupy most of the singles like the tasty jam in "Perfect", but the real allure is frontwoman Gulzhan's vocals. She is punk, hip, yet at times, heartbreaking. "Iskala" stings much like No Doubt's "Don't Speak" while "The Things We Fear The Most" begs to become standard power ballad.

The band has been teasing their listeners with only a handful of released singles, but this year marks [time] for a full album release, a debut that is sure to please.

-Parker Tichko

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