I have rather missed that odd combination of happy misery that I used to find in some bands, but here, in this shimmering short set of indie pop gems from The Vestals, it’s a pleasure renewed (thanks to @TheNightCountry for the alert here)
I know that some have flagged references to The Cure, The Smiths and the like in talking about The Vestals and thats all well and good but the band I rushed back to was the incomparable and sadly much over-looked Kitchens of Distinction circa Strange Free World and in particular Drive That Fast – should you have missed them twenty odd years or so ago, go look them up.
The four tracks don’t exactly outstay their welcome, running in at a scant thirteen minutes, and to tell the truth the lyrics make you want to give them a man-hug and remind them that its not so bad really. But I guess thats the point, the downcast narratives chime perfectly with the counter point that is the hook laden, perversely uplifting, melodies strung out like a little row of twinkling crystals.
The swirling syth landscape that is the first minute and a half could have been a wasted track but it actually acts as a perfect lead in to the title track, Life Without Love. I know the lead track is supposed to be the main deal, but the thing which grabbed me first was the guitar from I Mean the World to No-one with its redolence of Kitchens stylee guitar. Fourth and final track, Happiness, sounds a lot more upbeat that its lyrics intend, and a fine way to end this short set.
The Vestals prove annoyingly hard to find out much about. Apparently a five piece (or maybe three?) from the environs of Newport in South Wales, rumour has it that they are comprised of Adam on lead vocals and guitar; Sam as lead guitar, Rich on drums; Rohan on bass; and Gethin with guitar and backing vocals. But some or all of that may be untrue, who knows. You can of course discover very little about them on a myriad of social media and the like such as FB, their Tumblr, via Twitter and Soundcloud and catch their vids on Youtube and the EP can be got from iTunes of course.
But hey ho, it matters little, a very fine little packet of music the EP is, worth more than its mere £1.99. Rumour has it that they might be a good thing live, so here’s looking forward to that someday soon, eh @TheNightCountry?