Music

The UV Race: Homo

Australian outfit redefines amateurism. And not in a good way.


The UV Race

Homo

Label: In the Red
US Release Date: 2011-03-29
UK Release Date: 2011-03-28
Amazon
iTunes

There’s a fine line between being brilliantly shambolic and just being noisy, messy, and, in short, annoying. Australia’s The UV Race crosses that line on Homo, the outfit’s sophomore effort. Where does it go wrong? Perhaps in the first limpid moments of the opening “Girl In My Head” in which the band heaps virtually every garage rock cliché onto one tiny number and then repeats said clichés ad nauseum. It’s like having a petulant child babble a single phrase in your ear for five hours although the track clocks in at just short of three minutes.

The following track, “Burn The Cat”, is no better -- arguably the longest two minutes and one second you’ll spend all summer if not in your entire life. When these cats run out of garage rock fall-backs they reach, inexplicably, for a honking, squanking saxophone that doesn’t add much to the track, aside from a minor distraction from the amateurish antics contained within. “Lost My Way” offers something in the way of a reprieve from this foolishness, coming across -- albeit for an all-too-brief moment -- like something worthy of an Ian Dury toss-off. But it’s not to be. This song, too, stutters and stammers its way to a long-awaited conclusion before giving way to the painfully long “Inner North”. If these guys can make two minutes seem like an eternity, imagine what they can do with four minutes.

The mildly amusing “Nazicistic” sounds like Lou Reed drooling on his desk after having fallen asleep at Slacker High. Not even the mildly clever title and idea behind the track can save the painfully lackadaisical remaining moments of the song. Midway through the album, it becomes somewhat of a game for the listener, trying to isolate the few moments that do work and seeing if one can compile enough bits and bobs to arrive at a single decent track, like counting the number of times you glance at your watch during a truly dreadful movie. “Down Your Street” doesn’t help the Aussie outfit win its case. It’s the sound of a group of guys not even trying. Walking down the street with a heart skipping a beat? Puh-leaze.

Still, there’s time for surprise: latecomer “Low” is a half decent b-side that once more redefines torpor. At two minutes it’s about a minute too long, a decent idea stretched to its maximum. Finally, the coup de grace, the limpid one-two slap of “Always Late” (a song about, as the album’s painful -- and painfully detailed -- liner notes reveal, someone who has a chronic problem with punctuality) and the title track (about homosapiens and how great it is to be one). Shock! Awe!

What The UV Race and so many wannabe garage rock acts don’t seem to realize is that the garage rock greats of yesteryear were never deliberately half-assed. Some simply lacked the wherewithal to write quality material and became two-minute heroes despite this. That’s not something you can force and when you do, you sound awfully daft, pretentious, and pitiful. Those acts are often lost to the ages for a reason and it’s not because the audience wasn’t smart enough to get the joke.

Nay, it might be better for this outfit to actually try and come out with a really fantastic EP than, say, a seriously flawed full-length that does little else other than convince the listener of the band’s obvious sub-mediocrity.

1

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image