Saturday, 10 August 2013

Wampire - Curiosity

Album review by

Like some glorious intro to a Hammer Horror movie, huge organs swathes open the curtains to Wampire and their album 'Curiosity'. 'The Hearse' then strides into full view on the back of some pulsating synths, like the Psychedelic Furs lunching on The Horrors vibrancy.'The Hearse' is a heady rush, steeped in shimmering sounds and tribal beats with deliciously skewed vocals. Slightly more measured, 'Orchards' is a Waits-isan waltz through dreamy electronics, with lush melodies twisting and spinning you. There are flashes of classic psych from the Soft Machine to The Coral, all wrapped in a warm haze. We are then firmly placed into an '80s, 'Are friends Electric' vibe with 'Spirit Forest'. It is a bewitching track that worms into you and stays long after the synths are gone. It’s not pure '80s homage and has flashes of MGMT and Empire of the Sun.

Then some twisted surf guitar grabs you, strips you off and throws you into the blast that is 'Giants'. It rumbles on some wicked Kim Deal bass, drowns you in a wicked peal of a colours, before taking a Flaming Lips-like left turn, slowing it all down, catching its breath, before unleashing the final carny rush of those surf sounds. With no let up in the garage, rockabilly, psych pop buzz, 'I Can't See Why' hits you next. Again it has an undeniable punch and hook that draws you in. It simply goes too fast, leaving you yearning for a bigger hit. The playfulness already seen in 'Orchards' is in full effect on 'Out of Money'. It rolls out like some New Orleans march on acid. Everything is a step slower, as if the heat of the last two tracks was almost too much, allowing you to be soothed and caressed by the stately feel. Bathing you in near infinite, languid cleansing synths as the song draws to a close.

Brighter, sharper but still on a more languorous trip, 'Trains' rides into view on chiming Marr-esque guitar, with a near calypso swing to the whole song. A deceptively simple, yet charming song. After the luscious ride of 'Trains', we find the first slight falter by Wampires on 'Why'. It has many great disparate elements, but they somehow fail to ignite together as well as other songs here. A cutting, fiery solo, sparks towards the song's end, but even this blended out before it really sets things alight. Finding the left-field sensuality that the Strokes lost, Wampires close 'Curiosity' out in perfect style with 'Magic Light'. It drowns you in richly strung-out vocals and mesmerising sounds, leaving you in a state of post-coital bliss. After indulging in 'Curiosity' you will leave satisfied, seduced and surprised in equal and wonderful measures.

Wampire's website

Buy the album

Catch them live:

Aug 10 El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Aug 11 The Glass House, Pomona, CA
Aug 12 The Casbah, San Diego, CA
Aug 15 Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
Aug 16 The Crocodile, Seattle, WA
Aug 17 ELECTRIC OWL, Vancouver, Canada
Nov 06 The Lexington, London, United Kingdom
Nov 07 Electric Ballroom, London, United Kingdom

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