Vampire Blow: Unicorn – Album review
Vampire Blow – Unicorn EP (Magisk Mand)
Unicorn, the first EP from Copenhagen garage rockers Vampire Blow, is something of a convention breaker.
It’s safe to say that the focal point of most bands is the lead singer but in Vampire Blow’s case drummer Thomas Persson, a guy whose hair has that much volume Katie Price would be envious is the focal point of the three piece, his distinctive appearance contrasting heavily against lead singer Jasper Spanning and guitarist Morten Sorgard who are your typical tat-ridden rockers. This is where the exemplary matters end though as Denmark’s tradition of producing slightly leftfield bands carries on.
Opener Spaceships rides along on jumpy guitar riffs and pacey drum beats with raw 60s vocals akin to Count Five’s Kenn Ellner, showing just how great Spanning’s voice is. The track verges on indie pop at times with stylistic qualities similar to that other band whose title features a pale, blood favouring creature (whose reputation is more than slightly damaged thanks to Stephanie Meyer) Vampire Weekend.
The band can clearly handle a dirty, garage rock number but novelty drenched tunes that hail from the 70s and beyond are seemingly taking over. We all love to not take things seriously and let’s be honest, there are some bands out there at the minute who seem to revel in broodiness which is why a band like Vampire Blow are pretty special in the essence that they just want to throw a hipster rock party with a nebular backdrop. However, 70s schmaltz is best kept, well, back in the 70s believe it or not.
It’s not like these guys can’t deliver pretty awesome ditties: standout track He’s Alright has everything and more in it to whet your raw rock appetite. Throw in some Townshend style guitar, a face melting middle eight which launches itself out of nowhere playing to such a level of eargasm quality that Black Sabbath would claim it as their own alongside lyrics about a man who’s “alright, he’s a real cool guy” and something shows you that Vampire Blow really don’t need silly referential gimmicks to sell a track. I think there’s even some bongos thrown in there somewhere.
The EP wavers between the sublimely excellent (read previous paragraph) and the brow raising ridiculous. Take Tokyo Slut as an abstruse example; who knows what inspired the lads to write this track but all you will know by the time the first line is screeched (“I’ll make you dance like a Chinese boy”… yeah) is that this is probably best kept to those people who like to listen to pop punk and other nonsensical matter no matter how funky the beat is. I Wanna Go Home is another of these tracks, sounding like a ten year old boy trapped in a Ramones era pining to go back home so he can play on his Xbox.
However crazy it can be at times, Unicorn is essentially a very interesting listen with sounds and riffs accumulated from all over the rocker timeline but ultimately what the Denmark trio fail to do is put more of a stamp on music that should be rocketed out into the stratosphere. Not quite Unicorn on the mythical creature scale yet guys.
All words by Harley Cassidy. Find more by Harley on Louder Than War.