Arcade Vandals are four Aussies from Fraser Coast that play lascivious funk music that makes me break into vapors. Their self-titled EP Arcade Vandals is their first contribution to the music world and if you favor sultry male harmonies backed by slapping' bass, hard rock guitar licks and muscular drum breaks, you'll ensure it's not their last.
Their sound is hard and heavy, but curiously laid back. Lead vocalist Rob Bryant has a nice rasp that helps focus the music's emotion, which is already pumped up thanks especially to bassist Brett Westlake, who commands each track with thick, crunchy rhythms. The overall sound of the EP is bar-friendly rumpus rock cross-bred with the more adult-oriented 80s rock. It's only four songs long, two tracks that cut deep and two that bruise.
The cutters are the opener and closers. "Put It All On the Line" introduces t Arcade Vandals at their strongest when they bust out arena-appropriate guitar riffs with Bryant's steamy yowl. It's a sexy song with an affirming message, but it's the chiseled rhythms and searing guitar work that make it a converter. Oddly enough, the band leans far away from the desperation of the opener and delves into softer, even rustic territory. This culminates on the stunner "The Band." It's an autobiographical number (I mean, they didn't say that but come on) that features more delicate guitar work, softer drumming and the pronounced bass sound is decidedly more subdued. The lyrics frankly describe the trials of attempting to make it big in the world of music. Most of the track's strength comes not from the tight composition but the wounded vocals and the way the singer empathizes with his subject.
The bruisers are the middle tracks and prove the band has staying potential with their pop experiments. "Headlights" is a mid-tempo garage rock (with slight country influences) number with nice guitar overdub and a more buoyant feeling than "Put It All On the Line." There's more freedom for the band to explore positive emotions, and they capitalize it next on "Fairytales." Here is where the band delves into a weird mix of surf, full-blown Kings of Leon riffs and psychedelia (mostly in the lyrics, someone eats LSD). It's the most poppy number, if the most inappropriate. In the world of Arcade Vandals, black sheep sling crack, not wool.
It's only four tracks, but damn, I enjoyed them. No real ending for this review. Arcade Vandals know what they're doing and while they're still feeling their sound out, their versatility (and bass!) makes them strong contenders for whatever scene they're trying to break into.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook