03 October 2007

The Vandelles

About a year ago I wrote about seeing The Vandelles at Beg Yr Pardon #9 and said that they: "take things upward and outward along the lines of Man or Astroman? mixed with Happy Mondays". At the time I was sold on the band's live performance, but truthfully a bit skeptical because it's "not cool" to enjoy it when a band projects images behind them as they play. Right? Oh please. Each time I talk about a band doing just that (inevitably) the person I'm talking to communicates some representation of a roll of their eyes. Be it through a sigh, some monkey-like movement of their hands, plain old body language, or an actual rolling of their eyes. Inevitable I tell you.

Well, here I am to set the record straight once and for all (having now had ample time to decide where I stand on the projected imagery behind a band thing): I love it. Always have. It adds a welcome visual element to a live performance. For certain bands, especially those of a darker ilk, it truly enhances the concert experience. Anyway, given that I haven't seen The Vandelles in such a long time (and thus am not sure if this is even an ongoing "thing" for them), let's move on. But I liked it when they did it. A lot.

So, I was incorrect in half of my comparison before. The Vandelles certainly do have a touch of whatever inspired Man or Astroman?, but their sound hits closer to The Jesus and Mary Chain than it does Happy Mondays. Certainly they have a roaring surf vibe that they then combine with a JAMC/MBV tidal wave of sound approach. As well, they wear their performance on their sleeve, taking cues from The Velvet Underground and Suicide in this regard. This combination of creative directions results in a rather unique sound bursting with palpable darkness - just what you're looking for around the time of Halloween. I'd reckon The Vandelles to be perfect music for a motorcycle gang of wandering vampires (like those from Near Dark); if this is you, look no further. You have found your theme song(s).

"Lovely Weather"
"Swell to Heaven"

See The Vandelles Live:
17 Oct @ Club Europa - Official CMJ Showcase
19 Oct @ Galapagos - Crashin’ In/Kanine Records What’s CMJ? Party
20 Oct @ The Delancey - Hot Rocks/Stereoactive Official CMJ Showcase

Visit The Vandelles on MySpace.

Preorder The Vandelles EP HERE.