Review Summary: Recommened by ClearTheLane; Unusually Not Pretentious Or Crappy
U.N.P.O.C. is apparently an acronym for many seasons, and amongst its various meanings Tom Bauchop - the project's sole contributor - dotes upon it one that goes something like "unable to navigate, probably on course". At first glance, it might look like a dash of self-importance, but listening to his music, it becomes more clear that Bauchop just enjoys what he's doing too much to care what people call him: his getup on the poorly-produced Fifth Column
is a guitar and a drum here and there and any noise his voice box can churn out. His lyrics are little to focus on and dreamy (we are beautiful to Bauchop appears to be the only poetic theme) and his music never tries to push any dangerous boundaries. So really, stringing together obscure initials makes Bauchop come across a lot more pretentious than any of the folksy quickies he has recorded, and that is in everyway a triumph.
Bauchop's music is just fun: he mumbles gibberish as confident as can-be (in "Amsterdam" he barely stops for breath in his cries of "Ididn'ttellthemanythingIdidn'ttellthemanythingIdi dn'ttellthemanything") and he whistles and puts passionately to any humming, la-ing and crooning done. All this is seemingly more important than any other contribution to Fifth Column
; unlike a wide spectrum of singer-songwriters, he takes his strumming about as seriously as his production values. On tracks such as "So In Tune", he seems content to be more in love with the sound of his own voice than anything else in the world -- and it pays off tremendously, overriding both bassline and guitar riff as his voice wobbles off the edge of reality and into melodrama. His passion comes along like so in nearly every song and the groove multiplies because of it: his wails into the punchy rhythm of "See You Later", for instance, undo any aggression intended and form something intense and conflicted, but above all crazily catchy.
would be aptly labelled "rash" in its nature if you didn't do a double-take at Bauchop's work ethic. At first it seems as if he fell in love with writing music but was as impatient as anyone to finish what he started. However, as with any "lo-fi" musician, it seems all that needs to come through in each song under U.N.P.O.C. is enthusiasm, so it's quite right that the album is forty-five minutes of smiles.