Plague Vendor

Free To Eat

Written by: PP on 21/06/2014 14:51:55

Sometimes I can't for the life of me understand how my fellow reviewers can possibly like a record, let alone praise it to the skies like this one. Plague Vendor's debut album "Free To Eat" arrived a couple of months ago amidst a frenzy of critical acclaim, most of them pointing out its absolutely frenetic nature that gives a new meaning to the word rowdy. Though signed to Epitaph, this Los Angeles bunch shares little in common with other bands from the legendary punk rock label, instead sourcing their expression straight out of The White Stripes and The Hives material with a boatload of brazen punk'n'roll riffs intertwining a brash vocalist whose injection of attitude isn't just over-the-top, it's in fucking outer space in terms of how much was really necessary.

The man goes with the name Brandon Blaine, and he's quite possibly the most annoying vocalist I've ever run across. Though his voice is somewhat akin to Pelle Almqvist from The Hives, it is perplexing how recklessly he lets his lines go in a manner that splurging with attitude and can only be described as rowdy. Some will surely like his hyper-energetic approach that, together with the equally crazed garage rock style punk instrumentation, sounds like the band is crashing down a 10 story apartment building staircase while being swung around 1400 revolutions per minute in the process inside a washing machine. Me? I hate it. I think it sounds outrageously pretentious, even if I'll have to admit to it sounding spirited and energetic at the same time. What's more, the instrumentation is all over the place (just like the vocals), and yet the resulting expression is very danceable and upbeat in its nature. How fucking annoying is that?

Basically the gist is this. If you like your punk with a dash of Pitchfork style experimentalist hipsterism, a ridiculous amount of groove borrowed from garage rock masters The White Stripes and The Hives, then Plague Vendor will be the second coming of Jesus Christ for you. In just under 20 minutes, they deliver a chili-spiced, lunatic expression that'll hit right at home for some, and piss everyone else off. But even from an objective point of view, the songs offered here simply aren't very good. Just because you mask it with insane energy doesn't make it any better.

Download: "Cursed Love, Hexed Lust"; Numbers;
For the fans of: The Hives, The White Stripes, Foxy Shazam, Funeral Party, Honningbarna
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.04.2014

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