The UV Race's third album, Racism, is a rambling, shaggy mess. Mixing up ramshackle punk noise with simple and direct indie rock, the band sound more like followers of the New Zealand Flying Nun timeline than anything their home country of Australia ever produced. It’s in the wiriness of the guitars, the amateurish (but note-perfect) production, and the jangling idiosyncrasies of their sound and songs. The album is their most diverse to date, jumping back and forth between howlingly loud songs with thudding beats and happily unhinged guitars (“Nuclear Family,” “I’m a Pig”) that speak to their teenage garage punk origins; more restrained, almost pretty tracks like the surprisingly poignant “Sophie Says” that show the group isn’t afraid to show some real emotions, and very hooky songs like “Life Park” and “Bad Egg.” The band is able invest every song they do with the same amount of almost giddy, vibrating energy, sounding unpredictable yet fully under control at all times. Though the band sounds great throughout, the focus is on vocalist Marcus Rechsteiner, and he proves can do both the snarky, yowling thing and the sweet, heartbroken thing with aplomb and conviction. He truly conveys the pain in the love-gone-wrong song “Sophie Says,” while at the same time shouting like a maniac in the silly tale of psychedelic excess, “Raw Balls.” It’s a virtuoso performance that lifts the record above the usual garage punk fare. The only song that lets down the side just a touch is the overly long “Memenonome,” which ends the album on a long sigh instead of the kick it deserved. No matter, it’s not a bad song, and the rest of the record is so alive and fun that one little hiccup takes none of the impact of Racism away.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra