Tag Archives: VVV

2013 Preview: Listen Out For – Vuvuvultures

22 Nov

Unlike our featured acts to listen out for in 2013 so far, one band for whom 2012 was not quiet was Vuvuvultures. This innovative and immensely exciting quartet from London, by way of Australia, Brazil and South Africa, has been tearing it up in the last 12 months, gaining quite the reputation for the quality and intensity of their sound and live shows. Not surprising given the stage presence of Harmony in particular, who cavorts and captivates in equal measure throughout her performances. They exude confidence, their music pulsating with attitude, creativity, energy and a whole lot of not-giving-a-fuck-about-what-you-think.

2012 saw the band release its debut EP, the universally acclaimed VVV, release two fantastically dark, visceral and surprising videos, sell out a truck load of shows and they even managed to get into a spat with a fashion designer who appears to have stolen their cooler-than-Fonzie logo. They have also been writing new material, some of which we heard during their appearance at the Norwich Sound & Vision festival and which sounded amazing, and filming two new videos.

The main news of course is their plans for an album in 2013 which, if it is anywhere near as good as the EP (which just gets better and better with each play), should be amazing. They have already blessed us with vibrant, fractious guitars jumping over pulsating, relentless beats, skittering electronics and synths as well as songs that are slow, undulating, grinding, visceral howls.

With more and more people predicting a full-on re-birth of the guitar sound in British music, the time could be right for Vuvuvultures to lead the way.

The VVV EP is available digitally and on vinyl, which you can buy here.

Read More: Laughing about the Energy Snake – Vuvuvultures Interview / Watch: Vuvuvultures – “I’ll Cut You” / Watch: Vuvuvultures – “Pills Week” / In Review: Vuvuvultures – VVV EP

Laughing About The Energy Snake: Vuvuvultures Interview

2 Nov

While we try to put across an air of professionalism when writing at Alphabet Bands, we are in reality just music fans and as music fans we can get very excited about certain acts. One band that has thrilled us a number of times this year is Vuvuvultures. We raved about their debut EP, VVV and both of their videos, for ”Pills Week” and ”I’ll Cut You”. It should be no surprise to learn then that we were practically foaming at the mouth when we found out they would be playing live at Norwich Sound & Vision (they blew us away by the way) and almost instantly we dropped the band a line asking to meet up.

To our delight they said yes but as the time drew nearer, trepidation began to set in. We all know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but when the cover is all you have, it is hard not to. So it was with Vuvuvultures; the cover we were looking at was dressed all in black leather and giving off something of a dark and ominous vibe. Their videos are sinister, visceral affairs with a sexual undercurrent permeating throughout, their music pulsating with attitude, creativity and a whole lot of not-giving-a-fuck-about-what-you-think. Frankly, the more we thought about it, the more we fretted over how disinterested they would be when we met.

We needn’t have worried. While they may present the image of people you would cross the road to avoid any confrontation with, Harmony, Nicole, Paul and Matt are actually more like people everyone gravitates to at parties. They are a genuinely lovely bunch who like to amuse and joke with one another and who present a real and heartening sense of camaraderie between them. Our conversation is easy and peppered with laughter as they answer questions and finish one another’s sentences.

They are humble too, the reach of the VVV EP took them by surprise; fans contacting them from places like Canada, Brazil and Mexico had not been expected. It’s success and the positive response to it does not inspire arrogance, more appreciation and reassurance that their faith in themselves, their vision, is justified.

“Vagina Laser”

It is a vision that has been shared by the directors of their videos as well, as Nicole explains. ”We just immediately connected on an ideas level with both [the directors] so it was like, ‘this is awesome, we bounce ideas off each other and then you guys just do whatever you want’.” Well not exactly ‘whatever you want’, despite being extremely open minded, there are limits and Harmony drew the line at having a ‘Vagina Laser’ in the video for “I’ll Cut You”. Was that too far beyond the realm of taste and decency even for them? “More like my Dad will kill me!” they laugh.

They laugh again when we discuss how they came up with the name, Vuvuvultures (pronounced va-va-vultures) having originally been christened ‘Bunny Come”. Nicole’s explanation that they “were looking for something that was kind of devoid of meaning as much as possible so that you could give it its own kind of identity with the music” quickly descends into a recollection of rejected names (including ‘puberty conference’ and ‘oil in bowl’) and the possible future uses for ‘Energy Snake’. Word to the wise, as awesome a band name as it would be, Harmony would be pissed off if anyone stole it.

Having fun is clearly a massive part of what Vuvuvultures are about and no opportunity for hilarity is missed. Even when writing and recording, samples are given names that are either ” the first thing you think of when you hear the sound, or trying to make someone laugh when they’re going through the folder”. It was the folder that produced the name of the EPs first track, the amazing “Ctrl Alt Mexicans”, as it was originally just the name of a loop they would later use for the song. Not, as you may otherwise imagine, a blatant attempt to curry favour in Central America, though that is a strategy they are willing to consider. ”If that works” says Harmony, ”we’re just going to start naming songs after countries we want to go”.

A couple of new songs make it into their set that night (not named after countries) and writing for an album, as well as a couple more videos, is very much their immediate focus. The plan is to have videos done by the end of the year and to make 2013 about the album (to be titled ‘Energy Snake’ we hope) and to raise awareness of the band. Following the success of VVV and the overwhelmingly positive reaction to their live shows, they could be forgiven for having high expectations for the future but they have the same modest outlook that was on show when they discussed the reach of the EP.

“I feel like charts are kind of more relevant for the industry than the actual general public”

They are pragmatic too. We discuss measures of success and what will have the biggest impact in increasing their audience. There has been a lot of talk recently about the proliferation of online music distribution services and aggregators, as well as the continuing relevance of the official charts and which of them would do more for an artist. It sparks possibly the most serious part of our entire conversation without any real concrete conclusions being drawn. “I feel like charts are kind of more relevant for the industry than the actual general public”, Harmony suggests. “Because the general public that listen to chart music aren’t really deciding what they listen to, they’re just being told what to listen to”.

”Ask us again when we’ve charted!” laughs Nicole.

The free cider may have had some part to play (unlikely unless they are each even more of a lightweight than we are) but our original fears about the band being uninterested in us were entirely unfounded. Vuvuvultures, are collectively warm, engaging, generous, articulate and funny. What is also clear is that they genuinely enjoy just hanging around with one another and having fun. Once their set is done the beer will flow, their laughter will be heard around the streets of Norwich and their dance moves appreciated by Deaf Club and her audience. For all their unapproachable and intimidating image, they are relly just a group of friends having a good time who also happen to make some incredible music.

Watch: Vuvuvultures – “I’ll Cut You”

3 Jul

We’re not entirely sure how, we think it was while we were asleep, but London based Vuvuvultures have burrowed deep into our brains, found the switch marked, ‘Oh hell yeah’, and flicked it.

After the release of their brutally brilliant debut EP, VVV earlier this year and the , frankly, bonkers, video for “Pills Week”, the gang have topped it all with this amazing video for “I’ll Cut You”. The description may well tell us that it was directed by James Copeman, but that must be a pseudonym as it looks suspiciously like the band has got Guillermo del Torro in to remake the video for “Bad Romance”.

The video makes a wonderful companion for the song, drawing out its slow burning, foreboding and intense sound magnificently. “I’ll Cut You” is an intense, grinding howl of a song and the video just adds a layer of sordid, dark sexuality to the mix.

Depending on how laid back your boss is, you may not want to watch this at work, but once you’ve seen it, you will be telling your colleagues and friends to go check it out.

Vuvuvultures – I’ll Cut You (Official Video) from vuvuvultures on Vimeo.

“I’ll Cut You” is taken from the VVV EP which is out now digitally and on vinyl, which you can buy here.

Read More
In Review: Vuvuvultures – VVV EP
Watch: Vuvuvultures – “Pills Week”

Watch: Vuvuvultures – “Pills Week”

28 Mar

In our review of Vuvuvultures dizzying new EP, VVV, we made mention of the band dashing off into the woods and coming back laden with synth fruits. Alas, this is not the premise of their latest video for the wonderfully hyperactive, psychotic and synth heavy “Pills Week”, they’ve come up with something even more bonkers.

Instead, we find our heroes seemingly in training for the S&M walk at the forthcoming Olympics. Striding purposefully through Hackney Marshes with a wilful disregard for the safety of themselves and those around them. Their collective gaze fixed dead ahead, fists pumping. Woe betides any poor fool who should push their pram in front of this motley band of leather-clad Olympians. ‘Move it Mrs, there’s synth fruit to be had’, they are most likely not saying as they barge their way towards to the dark abyss that awaits them at the end of the universe.

What happens next? Well you will have to watch to find out, but any of you who turns and says, ‘yeah, I knew that was going to happen’ is a liar and won’t have a leg to stand on. Unlike vocalist Harmony Boucher. Watch it now!

VVV is out now digitally and a physical release of the EP is also available, which you can buy here.

In Review: Vuvuvultures – “VVV EP”

19 Mar

Making a play for both the best band name and best song title of the year is London four piece, Vuvuvultures. After establishing a strong reputation on our capitol’s live circuit and evolving from a previous incarnation that was devoid of a real live drummer, their debut EP, VVV, was released last week on Popular Recordings/PIAS. Even based just on the ridiculously catchy, brilliant and wonderfully named lead track, “Ctrl Alt Mexicans” (which you can stream below) expectations are high.

Suffering from acute Schizophrenia, “Ctrl Alt Mexicans” sets the tone for this multi-stylistic EP perfectly. Jittery, fractious guitars jump and scuttle about while the beat pounds, pounds, pounds relentlessly underneath and the bassline growls. Ultimately, one of the most compulsive pop hooks we’ve heard this year gives way to a grand art-punk finale and with less than 3 minutes on the clock, we are away to “Safe Skin”.

Only slightly less addictive than “Ctrl Alt Mexicans”, “Safe Skin” treads a more contemporary electro-indie path. Occasionally it wonders off into the woods before running back, grinning, arms laden with delicious synth fruits and a chorus for a disenchanted youth, “You find yourself stuck again in/the middle of nowhere”. The schizophrenic feeling remains constant and contradiction is once again embraced with “Pills Week”, a hyperactive, psychotic synth heavy, indie anthem and closer “I’ll Cut You”, a slow burning, grinding howl of a song.

It may only be four songs long, but VVV manages to cram in more ideas and styles than most full lengths releases these days. It’s a cracking debut and well worth checking out.

VVV is out now digitally and a physical release of the EP is also available, which you can buy here.

“Ctrl Alt Mexicans”