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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

6.4

The UV Race
Racism

It feels as though the initial spit-in-ya-face-and-steal-ya-Lego version of The UV Race was just to get our attention. Now the band are doing what they really want to do — dragging out frontman Marcus Rechsteiner's beautiful Australian drawl, matching his lazily delivered everyday tales to a slow-motion version of their tin-can punk ensembles. But of course, old habits die harder than Demi looking for Moore down at the local Toys-R-Us (Aisle 7: Grass and Wickets) and The UV-ers can't help but shoot in a few injections of their former adolescent, fist-pumping fun, evident via the unashamed vulgarity of Nuclear Family, I'm A Pig's "oink" chant and their long overdue ode to embarrassing medical ailments, Raw Balls. For fans of The UV Race (circa the Early Days) these are Racism's real highlights, expanding on the collective's light-hearted punk origins with a more musically thorough attention level, sounding like the skipped-over stage of the creative progression between their punch-n-run self-titled debut and the more expansive follow-up Homo.

The rest of Racism is spent cuddling the listener, locked together and gently swaying back-and-forth, while mildly depressing stories are read aloud and a shambolic gang of loveable supporting characters playing unidentifiable instruments they found in the alleyway behind your abode. It's a charming affair, but far too reliant on everything coming together in a logical manner, something that's completely contradictory of The UV Race's trademark style.

On other occasions, the weight is solely carried by Marcus, such as on Bad Egg, where his overdrawn lyrical playfulness sucks us into a perfectly simplistic fairytale of a teenage romance spoiled by bad habits, bad decisions and a dead-end existence. This is enhanced even further if you've had the pleasure of seeing the band perform live and can visualise the stumpy, shirtless frontman pacing around the stage, contorting his face to match each line. However, more often than not, this stuttering storybook approach falls short. As is the case with the detailed explanation of nothingness on Life Park, where the lyrics and it's musical accompaniment both drudge along with little motivation. While not overlooking the obvious — the intentional partnership of mundane subject matters and accompanying inattentive music — when separated from the band's consistently brilliant, energetic live show this approach simply lacks the required jolts of character, failing on a fairly rudimentary, attention-keeping level.

This directional divide, which ultimately falters Racism, is best summarised with the bookends that enclose the album. The shamelessly pop-focused opener, Be Your Self, migrates from a twisted motivational chant of positivity into a dark, warped, satanic jam that pitters away one idea short of a truly fantastic song. While Memenonome, the six-minute opus that closes out the album, is the band's own take on elongated experimental rock, fusing together bored groans with their own linear rhythms, before becoming lost in a battle of guitar feedback and crudely-played saxophone. Ultimately, both songs suffer as a result of this creative indecisiveness and, although this lack of clarity has always been a liberating aspect of The UV Race's music, Racism as a whole sounds incomplete and lazy. Excusable is the fact the half-tempo, lethargic style is most likely a conscious decision — or at least a by-product of expectations on the band to maintain their disinterested demeanour — yet it's overarching dominance makes the experience of listening to this album a little bit more trouble than it's worth.

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The UV Race

 

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