Lincolnshire’s The Ultraviolet occupy a space in rock music that’s been well-established. Shiny, melodic radio-rock with a dash of the old pop-punk aesthetic and vocals thrown in for good measure. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this – The Ultraviolet know exactly what they are and don’t shy away from it. And their debut EP, ‘Tales of Our Youth’ manages to pull it off. More or less.
There are some missteps, like opener ‘You’re Better Off On Your Own’, the verses drag and the chorus fails to grab the attention like it should on a first track. Choruses are a pretty big part of The Ultraviolet’s sound, so it’s worrying when they’re this forgettable.
However, the band wise up with ‘Signal Flare’. Its verses serving only as anticipation of its chorus, which is pleasantly understated given the nature of the sound. The fantastic harmonious chants it features are such fun to listen to that they may be the highlight of the entire EP.
Another highlight is ‘I Wrote You A Letter’, which remorselessly embraces several cheesy power ballad clichés. Big riffs, check. Bigger chorus, check. Beautifully crooned verses, check. Indulgent guitar solo, ditto. This might not be to everyone’s tastes, but for anyone who has a soft spot for this sort of thing, it’s glorious.
‘Wake Up Dead’ tries its hand at some heavy-ish riffing, which is mildly interesting, but becomes grating after a while. ‘All I Need Is to Be Needed’, while not the strongest track here, finishes ‘Tales…’ well with a striking chorus that gives a sense of finality. Even if it never reaches the same heights as ‘Signal Flare’ or ‘I Wrote You A Letter’.
The Ultraviolet are never going to revolutionise music, and although ‘Tales Of Our Youth’ may not be the most challenging release of 2017, it is fun. Sure it’s commercial music, but it incorporates some great songwriting and serves its purpose well.
‘Tales of Our Youth’ EP by The Ultraviolet is released on 21st March.
Words by Alan Cunningham (@funeral_polis)