Strong melodic pop, with intricate guitars and textures dancing beneath the surface. The latest album from New York rockers UV-TV combine the best of both worlds in their third album Always Something. The three-piece’s latest offering is their most multi-layered compilation since forming in 2015. Always Something finds the band’s pop sensibilities meld seamlessly with a blend of shoegaze, jagged punk riffs and a variety of shifting moods and moments.
Vocalist and bandleader Rose Vastola’s voice soars above the mix, confident and demanding of your attention through wonderful melodies and a compelling reverb-soaked voice. But it’s her marriage with the instrumentation that gives the songs in this album its full impact. Ian Bernacett and latest addition Ian Rose provide a strong base for each element to shine, offering a variety of riffs and rhythms to fill this 9-track with gems from start to finish.
Openers “Overcast Forever” and “Wildflower” both provide hip-shaking pop and gritty punk-infused shoegaze through its churning guitars and upbeat tempo. This culminates in the standout “Distant Lullaby”, where noise, indie jangle and a hypnotic melody shows the band’s deft handiwork in their compositions. Prismatic riffs give this song a slight edge, its harshness muted by Vastola’s playful singing.
Just when I thought I had this album figured out, UV-TV provides a great switch-up with centerpieces “Plume” and title track “Always Something”. These songs are beefy and full of bold emotions and layers, a contrast from its poppy predecessors. The former is a slow-burning track filled with anxiety and isolation, culminating in a gritty breakdown and explosive end. The latter brims with temper and frustration that only needs a mere spark before it explodes. In these two, the band stretches themselves composition-wise with varied tonal shifts, counterpoint melodies and providing the songs more space to breathe. These two alone helps round out the album tremendously, elevating an already fun ride.
Other highlights include the ghostly echoes of “Super Abound”, which herald back to a 80’s new wave sound. Single “Back To Nowhere” is a quintessential jangly pop tune about enjoying life to its fullest.
Always Something is a huge leap for UV-TV, a mark of refinement for the band’s sound as well as a symbol of perseverance through its musings on life’s trials and difficulties.