Portland, Oregon’s psych-popsters UHF attentively incorporate ‘90s influences such as Blur and early Radiohead alongside touchstones like John Lennon and the Move. Singer/guitarist Jeremy Leff doesn’t stray far from his inspirations.



UHF’s fourth release opens with catchy "Disconnect," a sweet-and-sour morsel that evokes Sloan and Spoon. During melancholy "Revolving Door" and "Nothing" Leff sounds like a slightly chipper Thom Yorke, and on "Rules of the Game" he paraphrases the Beatles with his deadpan invocation, "The love you take/Is equal to the love you fake."



British ‘60s psychedelic pop is also cited in undiluted "The Behemoth" and "Goodbye Hello," where Leff echoes Lennon’s reverb vocals while the band lays down a distinct Lennon-ish affectation. Beneath UHF’s attractive pop and rocking psychedelia are narratives that show a dark, moody undertone, focusing on modern life themes that include meaningless jobs, a dehumanized contemporary Internet culture and media alienation. Fortunately UHF’s dour messages are embedded inside hooky harmonies and charismatic power chords.



Grade: B+