Our Top 10 albums: Molly & Kaz – Vulpynes
Dublin based Vulpynes have been whipping up huge amounts of press since their debut self titled EP was released in March 2018 via Headcheck Records; four tracks of savage guitar and drum intensity that referenced the likes of Bikini Kill, L7, and perhaps The Twistettes and dragSTER ; the EP resulted in their debut appearance at the 2018 Rebellion Festival in front of a capacity crowd; since then they were invited to support Sleaford Mods on their recent Irish dates, and appeared at the ESNS Festival in Groningen.
Future appearances include the Output Festival in Belfast on the 21st of February, the forthcoming Undercover Festival, London in April, The Great Escape Festival, Brighton in May and a return to Rebellion in August.
In between all this a brand new four track EP has been recorded and is being lined up for release.
We took the opportunity to chat to the Vulpynes; Molly and Kaz, to find out which artists, which albums influenced them; perhaps the albums that they return to, and the reasons why; all presented in no particular order:
Nirvana ‘In Utero’ (DGC Records: Rel September 1993)
Molly: I can’t deny how this album changed the way I feel about music. I grew up in a music obsessed home. My parents loved punk and metal and still do. Despite being exposed to Metallica’s Black album and Master of Puppets on repeat during long car journeys, Nirvana’s In Utero to my fledgling ears was the heaviest thing I had ever heard and, in many ways, still is. The anguish in Kurt’s delivery is undeniably authentic.
Let’s talk about ‘Scentless Apprentice’. The intro, the tenacity of Dave Grohl’s pounding together with that shrieking riff, oh that riff makes me tingle. You know something raw and ferocious is about to explode. I’m 11 years old and I now want a guitar and amp. And after all these years of listening to it, it never gets old and that is truly special. This album also opened my eyes to the fact that Steve Albini must be some sort of studio warlock. Every bit of noise and feedback on In Utero is perfectly placed to make you feel like you are in the room with the band. It is the perfect amount of ‘sounding live’ and in your face. Right, I’m too excited writing about this album now I need to go listen to it or we’ll be here all day.
Pantera ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ (ATCO Records: Rel February 1992)
Molly: This album is my cathartic rage fuelled beast. I was a riled up angry teenager when I first heard it. It made me feel iron clad, like I could take on anything. Let’s start with Dimebag’s monster riffs. He was such an inventive, groove laden player. I dare you to listen to ‘Rise’ and NOT bob your head along to the guitar hook. I consider the true Pantera rhythm section to be Dimebag’s hooks and Vinnie Paul’s tight as hell drumming (sorry Rex, I still think you’re great).
It’s evident they had an inimitable synergy. I can rarely connect to an album if I don’t relate to the lyrics. This is not a metal album screeching about wizards, Vikings or partying. The lyrical theme throughout is massively positive and empowering. It’s about having confidence, pride, strength and letting go of the past. I urge everyone to listen to ‘A New Level’ and let Phil Anselmo give you the best motivational speech of your life. ‘Forget the past/Present tense works and lasts’ and ‘New life in place of old life, unscarred by trials. Viva Pantera, forever in my heart!
The Cramps ‘Songs the Lord Taught Us’ (IRS Records (USA) / Illegal Records (UK): Rel May 1980)
Molly: I could not do a Top 10 without including The Cramps. I am not old enough to have seen them live, sadly I completely missed their hey-day and only discovered the band after Lux had passed away. Lux and Ivy were aesthetically and musically immaculate. They were like comic book characters or larger than life movie stars.
This album creates an atmosphere. It’s intriguing, wild and like nothing else I’ve heard before. Poison Ivy is a solid rock icon and her guitar playing is criminally underrated. She completely subverted the stereotype that women musicians are in any way inferior. Poison Ivy did not conceal her sexuality, she championed it. She is the role model I found as an adult. ‘Garbage Man’, ‘The Mad Daddy’ and ‘I Was a Teenage Werewolf’ are among my favourite Cramps tracks which are all on this album.
I am thankful for all the footage available online of their shows, they looked like a riot. What a truly special band.
The Distillers ‘Coral Fang’ (Sire Records: Rel October 2003)
Molly: Brody Dalle reforming the Distillers and releasing new material was one of my highlights of 2018. It’s safe to say this is my most listened to album of the last few years. The Distillers don’t do fillers, there are no ‘let’s skip ahead to the good bit’ moments, IT IS ALL GOOD.
Brody writes hooks and vocal melodies that reel you in and make you stand up straight. The natural gravel and tone in her voice is stunning, it truly is its own instrument. I love the chord fills, the unexpected turns and changes. Brody bashes through a myriad of emotions on this album and takes no prisoners. The stand out tracks for me are the pure vitriol of ‘Die on a Rope’ and ‘Beat Your Heart Out’. This is by no means a 3 chord wonder punk album, it brings so much more to the table. Try to play a Distillers song on guitar and sing it half as good as Brody can, best of luck to you.
This album has never aged or lost relevance. In fact, we need peers like Brody more than ever now. I can’t wait to see what The Distillers do next.
Amy Winehouse ‘Back to Black’ (Island Records: Rel October 2006)
Molly: Apart from having a stunning and unique voice, Amy was an accomplished jazz guitarist and songwriter (look up her Jonathan Ross performance of I Heard Love is Blind’). When I got the sheet music for this album, I thought right this woman is a frickin genius. She sang about love and real situations in a colloquial way that never felt cringey or cliched.
If you read the lyrics to by themselves, it’s like reading someone’s diary. There aren’t many people who can sing ‘Run out to meet you, chips and pitta/You say ‘when we married’/’cause you’re not bitter’ with sass and style. My favourite song on this album is ‘He Can Only Hold Her’. I decided to take music more seriously after hearing this album, it made me want to play more guitar and learn how to sight read. The album is completely unconventional, and I adore that. Amy should be remembered for her immense talent as a modern-day jazz great, there was no one else like her and I treasure every recording she put her magic to.
Manic Street Preachers ‘The Holy Bible’ (Epic Records: Rel August 1994)
Kaz: The Manics have been a huge influence on me over the years and a big reason why I am in a band today. I’m a fan of their earlier albums Generation Terrorists and Gold Against The Soul, and Everything Must Go is one of my favourites too.
The Holy Bible though was the one that really helped me through a lot of personal things in my life, it’s one of those albums that is super intense, and it speaks to me. I saw them play the album live in its entirety in the Olympia a few years back, and it was a dream come true!
When I need it, it’s there, in my collection, ready to play, and I’ll always love it.
Alice In Chains ‘Dirt’ (Columbia Records: Rel September 1992)
Kaz: It’s very difficult to pick just one Alice In Chains album! But Dirt is one of those albums that never gets old. ‘Them Bones’ is probably one of my favourite songs ever, and as the opener to this album is just perfection! Jerry Cantrell is a musical genius in my eyes. I am a long time AIC fan ever since I can remember. My older brother and sisters had their songs playing all day every day and I’ll be forever grateful they exposed me early on to these legends.
Marilyn Manson ‘Antichrist Superstar’ (Nothing / Interscope Records: Rel October 1996)
Kaz: I was ridiculously obsessed with this album. Every day, every night, I had it on repeat! ‘Tourniquet’ is one of my favourite Marilyn Manson songs. Manson’s voice is amazing on this album, and the fact that Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor was involved in its creation just makes it all the more genius!!
Slipknot ‘Slipknot’ (Roadrunner Records: Rel June 1999)
Kaz: The first time I saw Slipknot was live on TFI Friday absolutely wrecking the stage, breaking cameras, and generally not giving a fucking shit! And I was hooked!
Their self-titled album is and always will be one of my favourites to play. ‘Surfacing’, ‘Eyeless’, ‘Liberate’ , pick any song on that album and it will blow your head off.
I’ve seen them 9 times live now, and as long as they will play – I will go.
Iowa is a superb follow up album too. Joey Jordison’s drumming on those albums is out of this world, and he always made the drums look so exciting to me, which is one of the main reasons I picked up the sticks myself in the first place.
NIN ‘The Fragile’ (Nothing / Interscope Records: Rel September 1999
Kaz: I actually think everyone I know has a copy of this album in their collection! It’s just a classic. Trent Reznor is a musical legend. I love ‘The Wretched’ from this, and both discs were on constant repeat in my house in 1999. A true masterpiece.
Molly: I had The Fragile in my top albums too, so we can both comment on this one!
This might be the finest double album ever! Do bands even release double albums anymore!? It sounds like a breath-taking soundtrack to an awesome film that I want to see. The first disc is my favourite, ‘The Wretched’, ‘We’re in This Together’ and ‘The Day the World Went Away’ being among my favourites. Also, can’t forget about ‘Starf*ckers Inc’ on Disc 2. “I’ll be there for you as long as it works for me/I play a game/It’s called insincerity” – Oh Trent!