a music review by Douglas Menagh
The Uncharted Zone: A Perpetual Doom Tribute to UZ-TV
Perpetual Doom ($9.00 USD digital album)
Out through Perpetual Doom, The Uncharted Zone is a compilation album that pays homage to the weekly public access television music of the same name. Hosted by Phil Thomas Katt, The Uncharted Zone (UZ-TV) blew up in 2009 after music videos uploaded to YouTube which went viral. UZ-TV featured and features original and cover videos from locals of Pensacola, Florida, in addition to featuring lo-fi music. Now, with the release of The Uncharted Zone tribute to UZ-TV, there is an audio supplemental to this show. As far as tribute albums are concerned, The Uncharted Zone is like a concept album of a show without intermissions or breaks.
Featuring various artists like The Memories, R.E. Seraphin, and more, The Uncharted Zone creates an eclectic sound that is never at odds with itself. Rather, the artists collectively create and maintain a mood that holds together over the course of the album. “Boy and Man” by Alex Bleeker and “What Went Wrong” by Lee Baggett offer western, slightly country, and chill rock sounds. Tracks like “Tina” by Palm Salon maintain a similar weekend morning relaxed vibes, albeit achieved with elements like 00s vocals and keys. Such songs stand in contrast to more dissonant, gritty rock tunes like “Enterprise Room” by Joe Baggs.
The Uncharted Zone has the feeling of a specific moment in time rather than that of something futuristic. This release feels less like a throwback so much as a group of artists from a particular time and place faithfully recreating that specific moment in sound. Songs like “Love Kills” by Manhattan Murder Mystery offer a welcome dose of nostalgia to a period of time that existed musically twenty years ago.
In addition to functioning as a whole, the songs on this album function as great standalone tracks as well. Songs like “Blackjack Trees” by Karl Blau and “Gulf Breeze UFO” by Lonna Kelley sound great on their own and as part of a whole. What differentiates this tribute album from others is that it inspires those who are unfamiliar with UZ-TV to check it out, creating a powerful hook for those who listen to keep exploring this channel across the different mediums.
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