When: ALREADY OUT
Where: Fleeting Youth Records
Last month we checked out Thumb Bucket by two-piece-now-three-piece VLMA and absolutely loved it. It’s immediate launch skips past any notion of introduction and drops the listener right into the ocean of punchy guitar riffs and passionately screamed vocals, and we digged that a lot. Now we have VLMA, the self titled new release from the Maryland duo-turned-threeo and well, it’s like we’re drowning. It’s awesome.
Opening track RAMJAM kicks off with a Wavves-esque sound of distorted guitar riffs and optimistic vocals projecting a very upbeat surf-rock start to the record. VLMA throw in odd lyrics to fit in with the chaotic nature of the track and the trippy, psychedelic interlude, including references to feeling queer because of beastiality, friends being cool, beer being good, and what I believe is pussy rules. Even if it’s not what the band are saying it still rules. Anyway so RAMJAM is a great start to a record that looks to build and expand it’s sound and run right through our minds like an elbow drop from the great Randy “The Ram” Robinson.
Despite their garage rock sound VLMA do not follow all tradition garage rock albums and throw a couple long cuts on the record. Both Feel Myself and Mah Truckreach near six minute timelengths and somehow manage to successfully become great long hits of garage rock goodness. Feel Myself continues to punch people in the face with waves of heavy hitting riffs, guitar solos and psychedelic trips to ensure that no matter how long it’s run it still somehow manages to keep tying it’s shoes. Mah Truck is a personal highlight as VLMA take things into a much more bluesy direction to produce something that is heavy on the grooves while also remaining pretty darn distorted. This track follows a simple rhythm that really sits well with us, and the guitar solo is definitely a cherry on top of the cherries that make up this album.
VLMA does a great job at shaking up their album by throwing in shorter tracks after the longer tracks to make everything seem to move at different directions throughout it’s life. Tracks such as Donna and Phil Wood are great short bursts of energy whereas the aforementioned tracks and Flies take things back a tad to wind everything down just a little to add extra depth to the band’s sound. It’s awesome.
VLMA is a superb album from VLMA. This band is exciting, heavy and definitely have shown that they are a band to watch from now on. The record is brilliant from start to finish, and for anybody looking for some modern garage rock this is the record for you. The shades of surf rock and psychedelica definitely add some extra flavours but overall the garage rock remains strong. I love this album, and so should you. For more music reviews, free downloads and has pussy rules. Check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebook and Twitter.