PacificUV is a indie rock band from Athen’s Georgia, the band’s sound ranges from electronic all the way to space rock. Formed in 1998, the band’s first album was met with critical acclaim, including Rolling Stone Magazine referring to it has a “Masterpiece”. Since then, the band has released two more albums along with two EP’s, thus making After The Dream You Are Awake the band’s forth studio album, set to release today… May 14th, 2013.
If the movie “Drive” had been set in outer-space, I have no doubt this would have been the soundtrack used. After The Dream You Are Awake is like a slow motion dance club dream sequence, with psychedelic space vibes that at times reach back into the 80’s Miami beach scene. With an eerie celestial opening, and percussion that is brash in all the right places, “24 Frames” is a strong album opener. A song filled with enough ambiguity to provoke the listener after the song is over. Male lead singer Clay Jordan’s voice is calm and dreary, sometimes singing at what only seems to be a whisper. The song “Christine” is sang like a secret or even an inner thought. Jordan moans about a love that might or might not be reciprocated and if is, then could it be a real or just a dream? Dreams and the complexity of consciousness are the themes that tie the album together. Not simply themes about what is real and what is not, but ideas about how dreams can show us the true majesty of things that we otherwise miss, thus referring to the title of the album. “Eyes without A Face” originally sang by the great Billy Idol manages to meld contemporary pop and 80’s pop together to form a cohesive updated cover, but it is “American Lovers” that is the true star of the album. Progressive and melancholy, the core of the song is that of longing lovers, torn apart. As the song nears the finish line, vocals echo and swoon to the growing tower of pop synths structures – truly excellent.
Jordan’s vocals don’t always work as well as they should. At times the roboticness of his voice can be distracting, I thought that Laura Solomon’s vocals were much more compelling. As said above, “Christine” and “24 Frames” are strong openers, but the album gets muddled in the middle with nothing standing out until “American Lovers” near the end. It takes a few listens for everything to stick, but fans of the band and genre will no doubtably be back for more. Lastly, I found the album’s pop moments much more interesting than when fully charged on the electronic side of things. “Russians” verses “Eyes Without a Face” is a perfect example of this, with the latter being more induced with pop.
If you are a fan of the band, or you like your electronic pop music with a dash of space rock…. Then look no further. If not, then there might be little here for you. However, After The Dream You Are Awake is smart, thought provoking and electric as a neon sign. Definitely worth at least an experimental listen.
For more on Pacific UV, tour dates, interviews, and album samples, check out the band’s website at www.pacificuv.com