Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Vampire Weekend

The latest "buzzband" that every publication is hailing as "the next big thing" is a little Indie-Rock band from New York who call themselves Vampire Weekend. After being less than blown away by some of the previous "buzzbands"/flavor-of-the-moment groups--I listened to the bands self-titled debut with much trepidation.

Having lower expectations protects the cynic from a crushing failure...but it also leaves one a bit disoriented when there is a fantastic, unexpected triumph. That's what VAMPIRE WEEKEND is--it's a fantastic triumph.

With a name like Vampire Weekend, I bet you're expecting some sort of industrial/goth rock, right? Wrong. This band sounds like GRACELAND-era Paul Simon and early 80's Police (you know, Stings band?). They're a four piece rock band, but they use a LOT of Afro-beat in their music (lots of rhythmic drumming/shakers). I was also surprised by how much organ was used throughout the record. Overall, it's a strange blend of classic rock and world music. It doesn't sound like it was made by rich, white, east coast kids. And that's a good thing.

Vocally lead singer Ezra Koening falls pretty close to the previous mentioned Mr. Simon--but with a strange British accent. It works, but reminds me a bit of Bloc Party (who actually are British). Anyway, the songs are fantastic. From the cheery strings on "M79" to the blistering (yet breezy) 'white dude's reggae' (think OUTLANDOS d'AMOUR) of "A-Punk."

One of the great things about a record this unusual, and unconventional, is that I honestly can say this is a record for just about anyone/everyone. Fans of music everywhere, take note.

Jason gives VAMPIRE WEEKEND an "A."

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