The Universal

The Universal

Written by: DR on 01/08/2010 18:55:26

From Liverpool come quartet The Universal, and they are urging you to "join the revolution!!". What this entails, however, they are not so clear about. Are we supposed to join them in their obvious love for Paul Weller, aka the "modfather", and then go out and start a band in order to gain sponsorships from fashion labels such as Fred Perry as they have done? Is fashion what music is about? Probably not, but The Universal don't care. I know, I know, it probably all comes with "mod" territory or whatever you want to call it, but seriously, who honestly gives a shit that you're sponsored by something called "gama clothing"? Let your tunes speak for themselves, and they might just speak quite loudly - and that isn't just a reference to Terry Shaughnessy's vocal style.

As far as I'm aware, this is The Universal's debut; across all ten tracks they have found a clear mod-inspired-indie format that works for them and they rarely deviate too far from it, unfortunately. The lyrics Shaughnessy grunts out through poor vocals are simple, at best, offering no subtlety, wit or clever turns of phrase that could ever challenge any listener of any intelligence level as he sings such lines as "To be a face in the crowd in the city / that don't interest me / Revolution! Come on and get yourself some". Behind that, the musicanship is generally unremarkable, except for Piet Koehorst. In him they possess a guitarist who occasionally manages to throw sweet riffs towards the listener, inducing some level of excitement, or at the worst, interest. Oddly enough, it doesn't sound out of place and he's the most redeeming factor in their sound. Through he impresses constantly, but in particular, "Get Yourself Together" boasts one hell of a riff, while "It Ain't What You Know" demonstrates his damn fine psychedelic-esque capabilities.

There is little else on offer or worth paying attention to; I haven't even found myself once singing along with any choruses, nor felt any inclination whatsoever to do so. This is not helped by the amateurish production, but even so, you can usually spot the talent, or a spark underneath it. Is some excellent guitar-work alone reason enough to keep you coming back to this? Probably not.


Download: Get Yourself Together
For The Fans of: Paul Weller and all of his projects
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 11.05.2010
Diffusion Music

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