UV-TV- Happy LP
If one’s been keeping up with the melodic punk music of UV-TV, then their new album Happy will feel like a natural evolution to the stripped-down, sped-up gazey, twee sound of past releases, Go Away and Glass (2017). For Ian Bernacett and Rose Vastola, the masterminds behind the band, 2018 was spent writing and recording the 9-track LP while simultaneously uprooting from Gainesville and migrating north to NYC, where the album was finally mixed and mastered. The album thusly explores the tropes of letting go of the past, with an amicable catharsis. Despite the album name, the overall tone of the record comes across as a moodier interpretation of their almost jovial punk attitude—with the title track exemplifying that this is a much more personal and thoughtful album. Right out of the gate, the production is cleaner and more buttoned up, perhaps signifying that this record is more serious in nature. While Ryan Hopewell’s charged drumming kicks off the first track, giving us the familiar UV-TV energy, stylistic nuances quickly prove that the band has been drawing on some deeper influences, including The Pastels, Echo And The Bunnymen, and Slowdive, amongst others. As the arc of the album goes to a more vulnerable place, it becomes obvious there’s a new kind of sincerity in their choices compared to the last two releases. By the final track, the entirety of the album has conceptualized the personal and musical growth of the band since last heard in 2017. UV-TV was born in 2015, in the chaos of Gainesville’s thriving DIY scene. With Ian Bernacett’s driving riffs and Rose Vastola’s rock-steady vocals, the two have a knack for writing solid, energetic songs with a sweetness that sticks in the head. As the band continues to push the genre boundaries across their discography, their roots are still deeply embedded in the prolific punk movement they’ve grown from.