Pacific UV

Longplay One

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Who'd have thought Slowdive would be the most influential of all the original Brit dream pop/shoegaze bands on today's groups? Maybe Iceland's Sigur Rós never heard the Reading, England, wonders before sounding so much like them on Ágætis Byrjun. And who knows if Germany's equally distant Malory would say the same. But there's so much good comparison to 1991's Just for a Day in this Athens, GA, group's Longplay One, it would be surprising, if not shocking, if Pacific UV also fell into such moody froth without influence. Once again, here are those endearing, enduring, enrapturing elements: cooing male/female harmonies, all whispered so melodically and tenderly, as Howard Hudson and Clay Jordan's guitars knell and shiver like a moon craft hovering as it lands on the Sea of Tranquility. Also again, one notes the string-bending rush of atonal wash chords from My Bloody Valentine on Longplay's standout, "Blind," which ends in a wicked mélange of them at doubled volume. Some of the chamber piano suites (with that faraway echo, like it's coming from the next bedroom over) and twinkling guitar soundscapes are slow and drifting, leaving even Low or Spiritualized territory for a 1977 David Bowie creepy, sleepy soundtrack somnolence that is subtly sorrowful. But in general, this is that ghostly, subconscious haunt/float music that thankfully, stubbornly, never goes away. It just keeps coming back, in newer groups that still want to explore its infinite sonic possibilities -- in this case with recording help from members of Bright Eyes, Japancakes, Azure Ray, and even ex-Sugar bassist extraordinaire David Barbe, along with Barbe and Andy LeMaster's warm, surefooted production. On to deep space, man dreams in pop. Ground control to Major Tom: Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing we can do.