When I’m Down
Released: Oct 03 2011
Genre: Indie Rock
Label: Peski Records
By: James Murray
Originally written for The 405
Stylised band names seem to be in fashion. VVOLVES might not take their quirkiness to the lengths of tUnE-yArDs – but with such bands it can be difficult to see beyond their barefaced attempts of flamboyance. Luckily, in both cases, these bands carry the unique punch to justify their textual gaudiness; though in the case of VVOLVES their music certainly isn’t as far-out as the title suggests.
It’s incredible how swiftly bands can move on and adapt their musical style, and there are fewer cases where this is more relevant than with VVOLVES. In January of this year their self-titled EP was released; a fast-paced, electronic influenced indie pop record, quite comparable to Klaxons and other (controversially labelled) nu-rave bands of the 00s. The When I’m Down EP, however, takes a much more melancholy approach. The feel-good aura is still tangible, but VVOLVES focus has shifted away from their original eccentricity – instead taking a step backwards into the shadows of their 80s influencers.
‘Clearer’ is a suitably named opener. With a strong focus on vocals that aren’t present in earlier releases, it wouldn’t be outrageous to compare the record to the earlier sounds of The Cure. VVOLVES have definitely moved away from their electronic roots, but it’d be unfair to brand them as backwards or dated. The nostalgic value is certainly there, but more relevant music tendencies give this band their splash of originality. Incongruous to their generally uplifting sound, at times eerie patches of musicianship arise – in closing track ‘Where You’d Start’, vocals aside, much of the track wouldn’t sound out of place beside some of The Horrors later work.
The When I’m Down EP isn’t ground-breaking, but it’s a successful music experiment for a band making such a radical side-step. Later releases will clarify whether changing direction is a smart move, but When I’m Down certainly shows signs of potential. VVOLVES show no lack of musicianship, the only worry is whether this newly-found panache carries enough novelty to stand out from the rest on a musical level, and not just on print.
VVOLVES – Where You’d Start