Guitarist Roger Kunkel (Thin White Rope) largely left rock & roll when Thin White Rope disbanded in 1992. Playing off his jazz interests from Ellington to Mancini and the sparse melodies of early cocktail music and Chet Atkins, Kunkel formed Acme Rocket Quartet a year later. Gritty, spare, and marked with B-movie sound bites, UHF is a flowing, stylized album of nostalgia and experimentation. It begs to be listened to throughout, offering clever commentary on possible new soundtracks for those quirky flicks that used to fill the late, late night hours on the UHF channels. Throwing in sonic oddities, and capturing a dated hi-fi that is today's lo-fi, Acme Rocket Quartet is loose, subtle, and catchy. The horns (trumpet, flügelhorn, coronet) are a perfect addition to a rock combo led by a guitarist that gave up volume for vintage. Skip the self-indulgent slop on "Belly Synth" and "Battle Royal" and call it smart and slinky.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Tom Schulte