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Univox

Univox

(ROIR; US: 11 May 2010; UK: 10 May 2010; Internet Release Date: 13 Apr 2010)

I spent the first two minutes of Univox’s self-titled debut LP thinking they’d be the next Mclusky. “Pi” is such a screaming, rip-roaring bit of self-aware fury that I was actually bracing myself for the 11 tracks that would follow it. Imagine my surprise, then, to hear shades of Joy Division, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and just about every independent post-punk act from the early ‘80s in those songs instead. Largely (though not always) led by the capable, expressive baritone of Joseph Bonaventura III, Univox will take listeners back to the days when they were so over the Sex Pistols but hadn’t quite found R.E.M. The Univox spin on this is that they perform their homage to the era with such a taste for variety that they carve out their very own niche. After all, it’s not many bands that could put something like the aforementioned “Pi” on the same album as the contemplative “You Don’t Know”, the country-leaning “Cannonball”, and the bizarre jaunt into a cappella called “All This Blood Came from My Heart”.  Self-loathing has rarely sounded so energetic. It’s the kind of album too derivative to get a fair shake from the general public, but well-executed enough to be treasured by those who find it. In other words, a fine debut.

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Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.


Tagged as: indie rock | post-punk | roir | univox
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By PopMatters Staff
24 Sep 2010
Univox is rooted in the '70s in the best possible way, displaying a love for catchy harmonies, jagged punk and post-punk guitar textures, power pop energy, and rousing choruses.
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