UUOO is the self-titled debut EP from Sam Wooster, born and raised in Bristol before moving to Birmingham to study Jazz. UUOO, pronounced 'wu', is the realisation of Wooster's song-writing ambitions, and it reflects his varied taste in music - the impact of R&B, Stevie Wonder, jazz and electronic music all seeping through.
Opening track Tear It Down starts as a timid ballad, moments of early love captured by Wooster's raw vocal amidst a gently sparkling melody. Like a man having a seizure the track descends into heavy electronic stuttering rhythms about one-third through, the chorus an angry-in-love onslaught of assertiveness and determination to make love last. It's like Al Green's Let's Stay Together screamed in your face as you fall from the belly of an airplane, the fact your life is flashing before your eyes only serving to further convince you that love is all that can save you. It's that kind of dramatic a thing, Tear It Down.
The EP struggles to attain the same highs elsewhere, but still boasts three tracks that at least prove UUOO can write songs. Power is full of sub-bass and reverb, a heady haze of distorted electronic melodies almost drowning Wooster's vocals - where it struggles is in the way those melodies seem determined to fight with the vocals as opposed to emphasise and support them.
The Night is a circular R&B cut that loops back on a the same vocal refrain, sung and re-sung against a dubby, thick backing that once again threatens to overshadow everything else. Final track Our Time Is Up is more considerate to the listener, a little less chaotic although still with plenty of the multi-layered electronics UUOO is clearly so fond of. It benefits for the extra space, but as with most of these tracks the mix feels a little muddy, and the vocals could do with sitting a little higher.
Tear It Down is a good enough excuse for this EP to exist, an exciting and exhilarating onslaught. If UUOO can tame his sound a little then there is the real chance he could be a massive star - the key is that you can't play it all to eleven all of the time.
UUOO is released on 13 July.