Though every sage in the world nods, well, sagely, at the irrefutable notion that “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” in underground music that’s just not often the case. For instance, if said cover is a bunch of skinny dudes in corpsepaint and bullet belts hanging out in a forest, the record is probably going to be good, or if the cover is a Ziploc bag filled with cowshit, it’s probably a safe bet that you, young sir or madam, most likely have a European noise record in your hot little hands. We can apply that same standard to anyone who designs an album sleeve in homage to Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space. Which is what PacificUV has done with Weekends, housed in a digipac that invokes the pill insert of Ladies. A sterile blue grid of squares filled with letters and braille, halfway between the Periodic Table and an apothecary’s arcane chart. This is the only thing familiar about PacificUV’s record.
See, on 2008’s Longplay 2, PacificUV lovingly crafted an album’s worth of expansive, impossibly sad, orchestral shoegaze. And on Weekends, they’ve stripped it fucking down. Stripped down the lineup. Stripped down the palette of instruments to just some outdated electronics and cheapo synths, a Speak-and-Spell, and a blown-out guitar or two. Stripped down their influences to the classics, the weirdos, and dark maguses — Kraftwerk, Sonic Boom, John Foxx — keep it simple. Stripped down their songwriting to primitive electronic hymns and shimmering bursts. It’s an all-new, all-weird PacificUV.
Originally published in Ink 19.