Uniform Motion

fabriq rnd, 2009

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Uniform Motion typifies the of acoustic indie movement of the times. This band divorces the earthy elements of folk, trading it for some heartfelt indie-pop, and more interestingly, some psychedelia. The wonderfully knotty lyrics and the gushing chorus of the unarguably best cut on Life, “Back Up Your Soul,” in an instant invokes a neo-indie hipster like Jeff Dimpsey and his band National Skyline rather than someone like Neil Young from his my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Harvest days.

But after the expectations raised by “Back Up Your Soul,” the rest of Life is either disappointing or a great listen. No other track has the same interesting weirdness of “Back Up Your Soul,” and the majority of Life has a distinct urban cutesiness, with its passionate yearning songs that are hard to miss. The breathy vocals and the acoustic music that form the backbone to Uniform Motion’s sound have strong resemblance to Elbow’s later catalog. The band doesn’t use much in terms of musical instruments other than the acoustic guitar and the parsimoniously used drums. Still, the music comes out lush and dreamy without sounding excessively reverbed.

Amongst the ubiquitous melodic pop cuts on Life, Uniform Motion dares something like “Storm Eye,” a kind of Blur-like, quirky number that is totally uncharacteristic of this record, and is a standout as a result. In the album’s mix are songs like “Saving Up For Sundays,” “Oskar,” and “The Black Box,” which might be a bit too sugar-glazed. Then there are the cuts “Roll Over” and “Dry Eyes” that are beautifully melodic and not as cloying. The simplicity of the music and the absence of other instruments make the acoustic guitar the star of the show, which gives the band an inescapably bucolic charm.

Life embraces the different facets of indie folk and rolls them into its little ball of acoustic music that is almost ethereal in its own humble way. This is not the stuff of folk movement of the yesteryear, but a metamorphosis to keep folk living for ages to come.

Rating: B

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