It’s been a real hive of activity on the pacificUV front recently. Main man Clay Jordan started this project in 1998 and had just two albums to show for the act’s first decade. Yet in the last two years Jordan, now assisted by two permanent members, has really knuckled down with the Athens, Georgia act releasing an EP, album number three and here comes the fourth long player.
The album begins confidently with retro-futurist synths and big percussion ushering in ’24 Frames’. Sure, those detached vocals remain but here they form a calm contrast to the brash arrangement. Add in the shiny chorus and there’s a case for pacificUV becoming the American response to The Pet Shop Boys. There’s a similar mood of tasteful, melodic electro-pop running through ‘Christine’ and ‘American Lovers’ but both are bolstered by energetic New Order-style rhythms. It’s perhaps a compliment to say that the weakest track here is a rather insipid cover of Billy Idol’s ‘Eyes Without A Face but their original material rarely falters. Elsewhere one can hear Ladytron, for the approriately icy ‘Russians’ and M83’s instrumental epics inform ‘Run’. Yet amongst these fine songs, the appearance of ‘I Think It’s Coming’ and its sun-kissed, blissed-out wonder is surely one of the album’s defiining moments.
So pacificUV might still be pigeon-holed in the bracket of dream pop but the influences of 1980’s synth pop are just as prevalent. In fact the only thing holding back pacificUV from wider coverage is that those vocals might just be a little too detached to fully engage the ears of the casual listener.
New Order, Pet Shop Boys, M83, Washed Out