YOUR FLESH MAG AUGUST 2010 While all the new bullshit rock and roll bands mine the “garage” quarry it’s pleasant to witness Vermillion Sands standing near the lip of it, whipping rocks at whoever comes into sight. Subverting the genre you’ll inevitably be lumped in with is not a new idea but it’s certainly one that isn’t utilized enough. This becomes even more of a coup when the genre you’ll be lumped in with is bloated with same-y sounding bands which are as half-baked as their catalogs. Immediately, VS is gripping but not in an aggressive way. They are weird, genuinely weird, spooky sounding Joe Meek-ish outcasts who likely did very poorly in their respective physical education programs. Androgynous vocals slide all over the place and do something that nobody in garage has really thought about yet…they compliment the music. Speaking of, this band has chops and not in the obnoxious power pop way, but in a way that reminds one of the Troggs or Kevin Ayers. ”Wake Me When I Die” woozily delivers right on time and although the vocals are pretty much potatoes as far as the flavor goes, they sure are filling. Look out Dwyer, these kids may have the best of the early OCS stuff down better than you ever did.
VERMILLION SANDS Miss My Gun - EP (Sacred Bones Records)
Does Vermillion Sands The Band suggest Vermillion Sands The Book? Let’s talk about this for a sec, because there’s something both tactile and intangible here: a sense of ownership over a place that doesn’t actually exist. To me, the beach-bizarre J.G. Ballard collection (set in a fictional resort town of the same name) has always floated in the same sea with, say, Oni Ayhun’s electronic, sub-tropical detachment. But listening to the visceral country-garage of Miss My Gun, I have to wonder if my Vermillion Sands hasn’t been completely misguided. If maybe the place wasn’t creepy cold so much as hot, bluesy, desperate their Vermillion Sands, a new one, rendered as sultry dystopia.Because it’s totally a dystopia, make no mistake. All pseudo-intellectual bullshit aside, Miss My Gun has something dark bubbling just below the surface, something far more tortured than its Johnny Cash and Stevie Nicks jangle really lets on. Maybe it’s just the very real disconnect of an Italian band creating what is, at least in theory, very American music. Or maybe it’s just the sort of frantic back and forth between haunted garage and warbly honky-tonk. Either way, think about it like this: Vermillion Sands is the band Quentin Tarantino hasn’t discovered yet. It’s the perfect backdrop to one of his girl-centric bloodbaths simply because you can’t quite figure it out.Where Was He From is hinged on the familiar whine of a harmonica, and yet it feels so strangely alien.I’m A Little Mixed Up captures the clangy Old West with its detuned, hollow piano an American reference point if ever that was one but it’s too airy and sloppy to really hit the gold rush point. Besides seeming whiskey-fueled, dangerous and sort of haunted, Vermillion Sands completely eludes.And that’s exactly why Miss My Gun is so intriguing. I mean, it’s also why we read J.G. Ballard, right? That sense of ghostliness, of not quite understanding who this person is or why, and especially not what they’ll do next. Had Miss My Gun moved past the drunken dance of last track Disappear Chanell (with its unsettling music-box-winding-down ending), it might’ve become the epic sub-tropical Vermillion Sands of my imagination. Or it could’ve erupted into a full-on nightmare dystopia. There’s no way to know; both Vermillion Sands The Band and Vermillion Sands The Book leave every gap solely to your imagination.
ROCTOBER (USA) April 2011
Italian fuzzed out Americana playground chant square dance orgy pop
SLEAZEGRINDER (UK, Dec 2010)
'I wish I could live in a room on the outskirts of town with no-one around...' Come come all ye comely creeps into this deceptively cramped cabin carpeted with wondrously desiccated frantic acid-folk and serrated salt-water swirls and furnished & coated in slide, rollicksome bass under-over-sideways 'round roiling drums festooned with farfisa frolics and occasional flourishes of surf-scowling guitar sinistrations so seasoned a thousand fringes would be granted free therapy, as anyone exposed in any local barren store and crumbling coastlines of recorded delights to the monstrous storm of Movie Star Junkie's mellifluous MELVILLE marvelpiece - two of whom's helmsmen's loiter in these shadows - will whoop-a-holler about. Fearsomely foxy fairytales dripping in ethereal yet direct prickly insinuations and haughty purrs, however off kilter. Anna's enchanting twang is like the disembodied air in Kat Bjelland dark lantern stare that could idly disembowel you with a furtive hither ye come oh simpering sap. Sure, the psych-country goth-skiffle approach may beach Holly Golightly (or Gothlightly as the cheat sheet info delightfully says - LOOK, EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS RECORD IS PRETTY BARSTADLY DELIGHTFUL) - into still waters all the better for sinking through - like the fragillically epic Monsoon Blues, a waltz indeed above & beyond yours stuly's fetishistic warmth for the form, beckoning Bow-waves), by itself no small salt-shakers but it's shape-shifting, unaffectedly kooky charms conjures Voice of the Beehive, Warm Up with it's strains of California Dreamin', the Floyd-fucked by The Fish (or thrice vice versa) closer Ghost Song to Fabien Delsol's coquettish girl spy-pop (Wake Me When I Die) or and any other continental chick you keep in your lockets. Quite sweetly astonishing and quietly gargantuan. Damn, I do love Italians.
TWANG TONE MAY 2010 ALBUM DES MONATS! Eine schöne Überraschung! Diese Band hatte ich bis vor kurzer Zeit noch überhaupt nicht auf dem Schirm. Ihre Debüt Single aus dem Jahr 2008 fiel mir vor Monaten zufällig in die Hände. Ich war ganz angetan, sortierte die 7“ ein und vergaß sie. Nun also die Debüt LP. Der erste Eindruck: hübsch, schöne Melodien, eine weitere Garage Pop Band mit Sängerin. Aus Treviso, Norditalien. Ok, in den 1980er Jahren kamen ein paar ganz gute Neo-Sixties und Neo-Psych Bands aus Italien. Aber seitdem sind über 20 Jahre vergangen. Und Vermillion Sands sind auch keine Neo-Sixties Band. So etwas gibt es heute gar nicht mehr. Dazu sind die Einflüsse und stilistischen Verknüpfungen zu vielfältig. Americana-Folk-Garage-Pop, das Songwriting manchmal wirklich klassisch Sixties wie bei den Girlgroups aus dem Hause Morton oder Spector. Die Sounds mitunter wirklich psychedelisch. In erster Linie ist es aber eine recht straighte Folkrock Platte mit Leadsängerin, eine bluesy Blondie oder gothic Golightly in einem Vorstadt Gun Club. Die Band, lese ich, ist im Ausland weit erfolgreicher als zuhause in Italien. In den USA und Kanada laufen ihre Singles im Radio. Eine Club Tour durchs nördliche Mitteleuropa wurde gerade erfolgreich absolviert. Wenn sie auf der nächsten Tour hier vorbei kommen, werde ich da sein. Einstweilen höre ich die LP wieder und wieder. Diese verzerrten Orgelklänge, twangy Gitarren, diese leichte Schwere verbunden mit locker galoppierenden Rhythmen, all das klingt so vertraut und neu zugleich. Jeder Track ist stilistisch ein bisschen anders. Vom klassischen Orgel getrie-benen Garage Pop des Openers „In The Wood“ über den düsteren „Monsoon Blues“ und das Jugband artige „Wake Me When I Die“ bis zur Banjo begleiteten Geschichte des unglücklichen Frauenhelden „Peter“. Vom flotten „Star Light Star Bright“ über das mit Slide Guitar veredelte eher nach-denkliche „Weary And Weak“ und das verträumte „Sew My Heart“ bis hin zum psychedelischen Schlusstrack „Ghost Song“. Eine wunderbare Platte! Eine sehr amerikanische Platte. Kein Wunder, dass die College Radios von Austin bis Toronto darauf anspringen. Die Erstauflage der LP kommt in einem extra gefertigten Siebdruck Cover. ****(MP)
Here’s something that we’ve been waiting for for awhile now. It’s the first full length record from Italy’s own Vermillion Sands. The album was released a little over a month ago at this point (April 10th), and it was put out by the Alien Snatch! Records label. Up until this point, the Vermillion Sands were getting by simply by releasing a new 7" every few months or so, but now we finally have a proper release from the gritty garage rocking 4-some that is the Vermillion Sands. Lead singer Anna Barattin fearlessly takes vocal duties all the way through the album, and is backed up by her band mates who plow through songs with galloping drum beats, tense bass lines and jangly guitars. The album kicks off on the fast paced “In the Wood”, which originally came from the In the Wood 7" that came out back in February 2009. This song gives you a good taste at what the Vermillion Sands sound like, and it works well as an opening track. It has a small piece of all the elements that Vermillion Sands have had in the past; such as Barattin’s nasally, heavily accented voice, crunchy guitars or the fast-paced nonstop action. The second track on the album, “Monsoon Blues”, is the first song on the record that wasn’t previously put out on a 7" that we had covered. It’s a bit slowed down, which gives it kind of a menacing feel, almost like you’re in a room that’s spinning around without ever taking a moment to stop. The next track “Wake Me When I Die” may be a familiar one. This track came from the first record the Vermillion Sands had ever put out, the outstanding Mary 7?, which is probably the most solid of all their 7" records to date. Moving on to track four, this one is another brand new VS song. It’s called “The Last Day”, and it’s got those extremely tense bass lines and jangly guitars that we have mentioned before. The following track “Peter Peter” totally changes the mood completely from the last track. When this one starts off it’s going to sound like you’re hanging out in a barnyard on a farm somewhere, but one thing that is for sure is that this guy Peter sounds like he’s having a rough time. Lead singer Barattin sings “Once he used to have great fun, and now he’s coming with a gun.” Definitely keep your eyes peeled for this Peter guy – he doesn’t sound too pleasant, and apparently, he’s got a gun. Hell, he couldn’t even keep his wife. Either way though, this is an excellent track. Be sure to check this one out below.
Moving ahead to the track “Star Light Star Bright”, this song kind of follows a similar path of the song “Monsoon Blues”. It’s has that restless feel to it, not to mention the strained bass line and it’s relentless approach. It’s not a surprise that it’s the shortest song on the record considering how fast it is. Next up would be “Weary & Weak”, which takes a step back and gives you a chance to catch your breath, unlike the previous track. About halfway through on this one a noisy guitar comes in to shake things up for a few seconds, and then pops up again in the final minute before the song ends, all while the spaced out lead guitar hangs above your head and guides you through the song. Next track “Warm Up” starts off in familiar Vermillion Sands territory before moving into a ridiculously fuzzed-out guitar solo, which is sure to catch you by surprise. Skipping ahead to the last track “Ghost Song”, this one is in a department of its own. Barattin’s echoing, drowned out vocals sound as if she’s floating through space somewhere without ever coming back down. It’s got quite a different feel to it that wasn’t anywhere else on the album, which leaves you wondering where these Italian garage rockers are going to bring us next. Until then, we’ll just have to guess. . (ZC)