Vuvuvultures are not your usual bunch of East London rockers; their rise to prominence has so far been mostly self-created. They’ve been busy running their own club night, The Island, and their debut album Push/Pull is being self-released on their own label. The acclaim they’ve received since their inception has also been wide-ranging in scope; everyone from blogs to well-known fashion outlets have enthusiastically supported the quartet.
It’s easy to see their appeal. Ctrl Alt Mexicans wastes no time in setting the scene for the next 40 minutes or so; its guitar riff, wiry and buzzy, acts as a fanfare to a track that steadily builds momentum. Whilst the majority of the LP is loud and brash – subtlety isn’t really anywhere to be found here – they back it up with some pretty solid tunes and stellar hooks. Steel Bones, the lead single, is instant proof: catchy as hell and gloriously overwrought with melodrama. There is much more of that latter quality in the likes of Tell No One and Deaf Epic’s soaring chorus. Better yet is Your Thoughts Are A Plague, a bluesy stomp that also sounds robotic and steely, played with convincing determination and venom.
This is all bolstered by Harmony Boucher, who is a great frontwoman. She sounds commanding but never overbearing, direct but never blunt and always emotive enough to the point where you fully believe what she’s singing about. Her best moment comes on the brilliant Whatever You Want, which might well be the stand-out song of the album.
However, not everything works; weak moments occur deep in the album’s second half. Death Of Us All is average and the needlessly long Empurrar/Puxar makes for an unsatisfactory conclusion (the last minute and a half is the sound of a synthesiser slowly having the life sucked out of it). Whereas an all-guns blazing finish would have served them better, this feels like it’s been tacked onto the end for the sake of making Push/Pull give the impression of an album that has a start, middle and an end.
Of course, that’s far from reality. The truth is that Push/Pull is mostly set on uptempo and most of their tunes follow a similar style. There are hints that Vuvuvultures have a glittering future in front of them and what makes them so enjoyable is that, at their best, they make what they do sound so effortless that it’s impressive. The melodies they’re conjuring up are huge and wouldn’t feel out of place in rooms that are bigger than the ones they’re currently playing. This is not a world-changer, but it’s exciting, and great fun.