After a year shrouded in controversy and cancelled shows The Smith Street Band have decided …
Since the release of their last album Bloodsweat in 2016, Californian rockers Plague Vendor have added some extra oomph to their raw, charismatic sound which is reminiscent of ‘70s new-wave mixed with modern day power punk melodies.
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During Plague Vendor’s 11 day lock-up inside of the iconic EastWest Studios, the quartet created an infectious album with producer John Congleton. The album opens with distorted chit-chat that fades through the speakers as drummer Luke Perine’s mesmerising beat enchants us into the New Comedown, sparking a live wire within our ears from vocalist Brandon Blaine’s first verse.
Nothing’s Wrong brings us back to reality with breakdowns that feel like we’re in the recording studio with them; and it’s an atmosphere that feels as though it has been pieced together within a kaleidoscope that is falling from the palms of an infant’s hands; with shaky reverberation’s sweeping through the track, Blaine’s “Body’s numb but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The convulsive tracks take us through the album with Plague Vendor’s audacious sound becoming contagious energy; through their exuberant display of melodies in contrast to the lyrical themes, their diverse usage of genre styles has been compacted to create an album that’d be appropriate for dancing, running or smashing plates; and just about anything in between.
The convulsive tracks take us through the album with Plague Vendor’s audacious sound becoming contagious energy; through their exuberant display of melodies in contrast to the lyrical themes, their diverse usage of genre styles has been compacted to create an album that’d be appropriate for dancing, running or smashing plates; and just about anything in between. Blaine’s autonomous vocals weave through the cross stitch riffs of bassist Michael Perez and guitarist Jay Rogers with a ferocity that electrifies the choruses within White Wall.
“Thinkin’ back I was only seventeen,” echoes into an upheaval of guitar peddling, driving Blaine’s lyrical themes in verses of self-reflection as he reminisces that he, “Could’ve had it all.” Ravaging guitar hooks flow through the speakers and course through our veins as Plague Vendor’s Night Sweats take a hold. While Blaine’s well-rhymed lyrics serenade with repetition, Perine’s drumming stops one from crumbling at the knees as the vocal drawls lure you to the bass-heavy choruses.
Heading towards the end of the album wearing Snakeskin Boots, Blaine gives a debonair monologue which hears him “Howling at the moon like a rabid dog in the night,” before Perez’s thunderous bass riff chime in before a high peak of effects spin into motion, edging us deeper into avant-garde choruses. Listeners are placed In My Pocket with Perine’s drumming which bounces Rogers’s driving riffs that execute the closing track with Blaine’s lyrical genius. With a subtle alarm pounding through the musical layering, there’s a “Love in my pocket” for Plague Vendor following this album, By Night, which is a love that’ll still be there in the morning.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Prism, White Wall, Night Sweats
STICK THIS NEXT TO: EL VY,, Kasabian, Queens of the Stone Age.