UV PØP, No Songs Tomorrow

Brandon Soderberg

By Brandon Soderberg

on 04.03.12 in Reviews
Sacred Bones resurrects the one-man noisemaker’s 1984 debut

Home of bubblegum pigfuckers Pop. 1280, hooky guitar stranglers the Men and many more gloom-loving rockers, Sacred Bones Records casts a dark shadow on an otherwise sunny indie landscape. And with the occasional, prudent reissue (13th Chime, The Cultural Decay), the Brooklyn label connects the gnarly dots between post-punk’s formative years and their own confrontational, contemporary sound. Their latest resurrection is UV PØP’s No Songs Tomorrow, the 1984 debut album from Sheffield, England, one-man noisemaker John White. No Songs Tomorrow is split straight down the middle between lost troubadour music and synthesizer rage-outs. It’s the latter that will pique the interests of most listeners — songs like “Sleep Don’t Talk” and “Hafunkiddies” now scan as “minimal wave” and still pack a primitive, industrial punch. But it’s ultimately all about those first-act, burnt-world ballads. The title track and “Some Win This” are end-of-the-world improv-folk, each song marching into the void with a relentless guitar strum, a hollow drum-machine knock, and dead-eyed lyrical honesty. “Portrait” isn’t a song for outcasts; it’s an accusatory ditty about how loner serenades do nothing but make you feel good about feeling bad for some poor sap with a life worse than your own.