There truly was a little bit of psychedelia in VUM’s music, but it was not very obvious, many of the songs they played at Vacation Vinyl on Friday night were weird dark dances, haunted by Jennifer Pearl’s cold, monotonous, PJ Harvey-meets-Ian-Curtis vocals, and driven by the three levels of wobbling keyboards, an organ, a piano, and a synthesizer, all played by Christopher Badger.
The VUM duo was accompanied by two guys on drums and percussion and even a giant gong for the first tune, bringing some exotic ambiance in their overall somber atmospheric songs. Actually, the darkest part of the story was Jennifer’s strong incantation-like echoing vocals, as the beats could even turn warmer and her discreet guitar was sometimes injecting some piercing or sliding vibrating riffs.
Their lugubrious and solemn songs sounded like repetitive and mechanical tasks executed with resilience and determination, as the slow loop-motifs of their songs were repeated over and over, in a circular trance-mode, flirting with a Krautrock sound, building up a wider sound until the whole thing would burst into something more powerful thanks to the accelerating drumming.
The two of them have been in many bands before (Jennifer Pearl was in Lion Fever and Lost Kids and Christopher Badger was in Grand Elegance) and said to have been influenced by Suicide, Moondog, Can.
On Friday, they were releasing a cassette on Living Tapes and announced that a Vinyl was coming up at the beginning of November. I just cannot get over the fact that cassettes are back!!
Want to join me in supporting a good cause?
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – December 1980 (Volume 12, Number 7)
Boy Howdy! did Susan Whitall put together a solid team of writers
its own glammy road not travelled
“This was his best performance ever.”
his best song since “I Will See You In Far Off Places”
expected series of punk veterans
I have this thing where I get older but just never wiser
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1980 (Volume 12, Number 6)
an almost indefinable purity