Apparently Switzerland’s Vanilla Muffins have been the undisputed Kings of Sugar Oi! for the past 25 years or so. I am not sure about you but I have no idea who else has a sound which fits that genre; well actually maybe we do as the trio from Basel create a stomping proposition which blends pop infused punk with infectious rock ‘n’ roll. It is quite simply punk ‘n’ roll but a strain which indeed has a distinctiveness singular to the band whilst providing one rousing and thoroughly enjoyable escapade.
Driven by a passion for football and their home city team, Vanilla Muffins began in the late eighties, growing in presence, songs, and stature with each passing year. Now they have five albums, eleven EPs, and numerous compilation appearances under their belt, the latest being a re-issue of their classic and highly sought after 2003 album The Drug Is Football via Rebel Sound Music. Last year saw the band return with Best Of (Triumph of Sugar Oi!) via Bandworm/Spirit of the Streets and after it the A Little Night Music / Eine Kleine Nachtmusik EP on Sunny Bastards. Both re-ignited old and indeed sparked new appetites for the band’s insatiable infectious sound, as too limited edition single Goal of the Month earlier this year. Now for a limited edition Double 7″ offering, the band itself has plucked eight of the best songs from The Drug Is Football and if like us you are new to their presence, it is a must listen.
The trio open things up with No Punk Rock In My Car, and a rally off boisterous vocals and punchy rhythms aligned to bracing riffs. Instantly it is a virulently catchy affair with sinews as gripping as the warm and inviting melodies are infectious, slavery for feet, neck muscles, and vocal chords the result. There is a feel of UK rockers Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions to the encounter, a similar old school punk meets modern devilry at riotous and irresistible play.
The following Brigade Loco is just as magnetic and inciting, the grooved coaxing from the guitar of Colin Brändle an inescapable lure within the jabbing beats of Eddie Jr and the great bass groans posing as a bassline from Ian Norris. Equally Brändle’s vocals are nothing less than rich persuasion and though there are no major surprises in the song, as throughout all tracks, everything colludes in a power pop meets punk rock tempest of boisterous and seriously invigorating goodness.
Dirt Box Disco meets Weezer is a handy description for All Roads Lead To Rome which follows, the song sitting somewhere between the two as Vanilla Muffins swing riffs and hooks like a puppeteer to again command eager hips and reckless feet. Without quite matching the first two in drawing lusty reactions, the song is an easy going protagonist to get swiftly involved with, its success nicely setting up the appetite for the brilliant 3 Comrades. Rhythmically compelling and vocally inescapable, the song is pure anthemic rebel rousing and maybe the best thing on the release, though that fluctuates between a trio of songs daily.
The title track rampages through ears next; its steely punk attitude and intensity simultaneously tempered and urged on by the ever alluring vocals and melody rich hooks which just as potently rouse the spirit and spark unavoidable participation. It is a blood pumping call backed resourcefully by The Gang From Kannenfeldpark and its nostalgic look at the young years and more carefree times and straight after by The One And Only with its Buzzcocks like nag of a hook and fuzzy Vibrators like contagion. Both songs whip up more pleasure and hunger for the thickly enjoyable punk frolics, and the wonderment as to why it has taken this long to come across the slavery of the Vanilla Muffins sound.
The Mob From Kannenfeldpark is built on similar seeds as to its predecessor with another recognisable hook the lead into a slice of rock ‘n’ roll which finds a inspiration in decades further back than that of its original birth to spice up its own tenaciously imagined rock ‘n’ roll.
As the saying goes, better late than never and it certainly applies to finally get wrapped up in the Vanilla Muffins experience, a treat no punk and rock ‘n’ roll fan should miss out on. Watching FC Basel play on TV will come with a new soundtrack and fun from now on too.
The Drug Is Football Double 7″ is available from 30th September via Rebel Sound Music on Black Vinyl (200), Red A&B Side, Blue C&D Side coloured vinyl (200), and on Half N Half Blue/Yellow vinyl (100 and only exclusive to Rebel Sound)
Pete RingMaster 30/09/2015
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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