It is far too early to mention Vita and The Vicious in the same breath as bands like Blondie, No Doubt, and The Pretenders yet as their new EP Bender feistily seduces ears and imagination, there is no escaping the potential within the band to possibly worry such heights in the future. They have a sound which you would guess has been influenced in some way by the certainly first of those two bands, an open flavouring which helps make their new three-track release a magnetic slice of melodic rock/pop. There is also an attitude to its songs which brings a fiery edge as enticing and refreshing as the infectiousness which flows freely through each encounter.
The beginnings to the London band were seeded around 2008 as a writing partnership began with vocalist Vita Ross and band lyricist Louisa Scott, with songwriter Keith James Godman a regular contributor too. The initial intent was to set Ross off on a solo career but it soon was apparent that she was more comfortable within a band scenario, a set-up her voice and live presence was more potent within. The band’s current line-up began emerging in late 2013; drummer Jamie Moore joining Ross before bassist Matt Young and guitarist Andy Manning were subsequently recruited. Last August saw lead guitarist Matt Fowler join the band, with the line-up finally completed by keyboardist Florence Sabeva. With a live presence and stature brewing nicely alongside the increasing potency of the band, Vita and the Vicious turned 2014 into a successful and busy time. They earned acclaim for shows at venues such as Zigfried von Underbelly and O2 Academy2 Islington, took big plaudits from a packed tent at Guilfest, and closed the year by supporting Holy Holy at The Welly in Hull. A national awakening is next on the agenda for the band, and even if not their immediate aim there may be no escaping that kind of attention thanks to Bender.
The EPs title track opens the revelry up, a sonic breeze the spark for a compelling stroll of spicy grooves, seducing keys, and crisp rhythms. The striking voice of Ross is a swift enticement too, her tones somewhere between Debbie Harry, Wendy Wu (The Photos), and Chantal Claret whilst carrying the bite of a temptress and the fire of a vintage songstress. The song itself almost swarms over the senses, keys a lively bubbling of melodic seducing and rhythms a tenacious protagonist, both bound in the creative enterprise of guitars and vocals. Virulently contagious, the track alone spills that promise earlier mentioned, brewing thoughts of early Blondie with the raw temptation of a Karn8 or Japanese Voyeurs.
The following Face Off Honey opens with a similar sonic yawn but is soon weaving eighties synth pop into its volatile landscape. The track also offers a theatre to its imagination, one subsequently twisting into a confrontational but welcoming stomp led by voice and beats before returning to that initial tantalising energetic caress. The nostalgic breath never leaves the enjoyable flight of the song, fusing nicely with the great backing vocals and exotic rippling of keys shadowed by a broody bass sound and a wiry blaze of guitars. Though it cannot quite live up to the majesty of the opener, the song increases the hunger in an already greedy appetite whilst showing more of the diversity in the band’s sound.
Closing song All The Morning After is the same, revealing the band’s potency at creating evocative balladry within a tempestuously emotional and musical climate. The keys shimmer with robust radiance whilst guitars are almost stormy in their touch and invention, it all supporting the elegant croon of Ross. There is a touch of Danish band Forever Still to the excellent encounter as well as again an eighties air to its melodic rock hues, especially those coloured by the keys which maybe, to be a little fussy, over play that aspect a touch even if without defusing the rich allure of the song.
Without doubt Bender, the song, steals the richest acclaim but backed by two mouth-watering slices of melodic imagination, the Tom Wilcox (Woody Woodmansey’s Holy Holy, Lisa Ronson) produced EP is the announcement of Vita and The Vicious as one of the UK rock scene’s new exciting and captivating prospects.
Upcoming Show dates/;
May 6th EP Launch The Borderline, Soho London
June the 14th Cargo, Shoreditch London
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