CD Review: Vultures? – Wake EP

Posted: September 9, 2012 by Windsor Zene in CDs, Reviews

Vultures? is a band that has been around in various forms since the dawn of time. Their current line up features Anderson Lunau undertaking bass and lead vocal responsibilities, guitars handled by Jeff Riley and Andy Langmuir, and Scott Warren on drum duty and backing vocals. In the local scene, these guys are known for a number of different things.  Riley recently made his debut at part of Poughboy, in their most recent show at Villains. Anderson was part of the notable Golden Hands Before God…, and Scott is known for his skills as an engineer, running Rockerie Records, from whence came last summer’s Vultures? release The Deuce EP, as well as his recent epic, Hate Letter, the first release of Scott’s solo project, This Is War (which also includes guest appearances from the rest of the band).  Now the boys are back with their newest EP, and one to actually be released on a physical medium, Wake. This EP clocks in at just under twenty minutes, contains four songs, and a wide variety of sounds.

The disc opens with Brain Jail, which startled me a bit at first. I’m used to these guys being a bit rougher, but this song strikes me as a groovy, flowing, and more progressive than usual track. The vocals are mixed a bit farther back than is generally found in their tunes, but to some great effect, reinforcing the emotions already dripping off Anderson’s vocals.

Beverley starts off as more of a slow-jam, very slouchy, and would fit well into a sleazy, smoke-filled lounge. It oozes along in a slow yet definite build, with a sound like The Eagles meeting The Mars Volta for a long night of dope-smoking, jamming, and looking back at failed relationships. This one gets stuck in my head.

The third one that I can’t decide on. I either love it or hate it. Maybe both at the same time. Entitled Kobe, Don’t Be Rapin’,I like to believe it’s about zombies, and taking this line out of context will reinforce that opinion; “There’s only grey matter I wanna take/This matter in my own hands, you could make me a man”.

But even aside from that, it’s an interesting little ditty. After the first two being more ambient and experimental, we bust into a song that could easily belong to any of the numerous boy pop-rock bands that plague the top forty airwaves.  The song feels happy; the vocals waver pleasingly; the entire thing is catchy as fuck. But then you pay some attention to the lyrics, and the prominence of creepy under-age stalking in complete paradox to the light-hearted tone weirds me out. Still, this song contains my absolute favourite part of the entire EP. About three-quarters of the way through we stumble upon some beautifully executed guitar, nice and clean sounding, backing Anderson up as he completely nails his lines. Utterly unexpected, and wholly pleasant.

Then it’s time to disco, apparently. Control is something I was entirely unprepared for. If someone were to get up and dance to this, I don’t think I could even blame them. And That is not a normal statement for a Vultures? track. But still, it’s fun, the lyrics are a tad dark, and there are some awesome tones; typical traits of the band. I particularly loved the ambience on the chorus vocals.

Overall? I liked it. A lot. The songs were great, the sound of the entire thing didn’t make my ears bleed, and in every song I caught something that made me want to re-listen to figure out what it was. I love when that happens. 4.5/5. Loss of half a point for the music breaking my computer.

Catch Vultures? This Saturday, September 15th when they take part in the fourth annual Phog Phest on the corner of University and Victoria. They go on at 7:55, and will hopefully have the EP available for purchase. Tickets are $15, available from the band or Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. W.). 

They’ll also be hanging out on The Windsor Scene from 5 until 5:30 pm on Wednesday, September 12th, only on CJAM 99.1 FM. Listen in for an exclusive interview, and a chance to hear all the tracks off of Wake.

 

 

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