Review: Vuvuvultures – Push/Pull

26 Jul

VVV-Strikethrough

It has been little more than two years since four like minded souls came from across the globe, found one another in a city they now call home and began to make music. Since those beginnings, the four members of Vuvuvultures have grown together, developed together and evolved together till they find themselves at this point, ready to unleash their debut album on the world, and it’s a monster.

Last year’s debut EP, VVV was schizophrenic and gloriously dark in tone and sound. Unlike anything else out there, it blended a multitude of styles and sounds into four tracks of glorious maleficence and the hedonistically disaffected underbelly of society. Like its shorter predecessor, Push/Pull embraces the band’s love of the secret and the sordid, science and fantasy and the way in which sound works. Envelopes have been pushed and with the advent of poppier sensibilities, the tracks feel more accessible and hook laden than even their previous work, without losing any of their grandeur or the darkness within.

Before the album even hits your ears it is worth noting that from last year’s stellar VVV EP, only two tracks remain, and that their single from the turn of the year, “Stay Still”, isn’t on it. Dropping three high quality tracks feels like a statement of intent and thankfully, Push/Pull delivers.

It opens with one of the surviving EP tracks, the skittish and riffalicious “Ctl Alt Mexicans” before sweeping into current single, “Steel Bones”. The sci-fi inspired dystopian dream (or nightmare) sounding like the end of the world as analogue and digital meet in a compelling battle of wills. Neither is prepared to yield and both create noise that drives into the heart of the other.

This sense of foreboding, of death and of something much bigger than us, of something beyond our comprehension is prevalent throughout. Be it the portentous, doom laden drum beats and bass sounds that awake “The Professional” or the foot-stomping bluesy sleaze of “Your Thoughts Are A Plague”, cataclysmic events are only moments away. Vuvuvultures have brought the end of this world with them and its noise is addictive.

Guitars shudder and grind, basslines throb and groove, drumbeats pound and scatter and above it all, vocals soar and caress. And within, sometimes buried, sometimes bursting forth beyond these instruments are the electronics, the ghosts in the machine that are desperate to break out. Little glitchy moments here, synthy wails there, digital flourishes that embellish and enhance. On “Tell No One” especially, the machines are coming and the electronics give it an extra feeling of danger, of despair and of impending menace.

Peppered within the album too are fleeting moments where they have taken over entirely, the A.I finding a way to circumvent its masters and the machines talk to one another. They appear at the end of the “Whatever You Will” and the slower undulations of the snake like “Empurrar/Puxar” (Push/Pull in Portuguese) which close the album give way to a minute or so of digital whirring and twitching, calling out to its brothers and signalling perhaps the next stage of Vuvuvultures evolution.

It is already on its way, their creation of ‘The Appliance of Science’, a briefcase of gadgetry and wires that wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of Battlestar Galactica, should see the band grow their sound still further. A frightening thought when you think how far they have come and how fantastic they already sound.

For now though, they have given us an album to get our teeth into and be invigorated by. Not any old album mind you, Push/Pull is a Vuvuvultures album, and while they may look like us, they do not think or sound like us. They have evvvolved and they have a plan, and the results are all the better for it.

“Push/Pull” is released via Energy Snake Records / Cadiz on 29 July and can be pre-ordered here.


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One Response to “Review: Vuvuvultures – Push/Pull”

  1. Name not supplied October 31, 2013 at 14:58 #

    Good words about them from you 🙂

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