Re-reading the headline, it seems like a typical Indie artist who think they’re the only one of their kind, but stick with me on this one.
I must admit, when first reading about the Los Angeles-based Vanderocker that is exactly what I thought. However, after listening to their new EP ‘The Good Punk’, I take it all back.
This four track EP is absolutely brilliant. It integrates different genres and molds them into a different style, each working in unison.
The Dutch-American artist uses the EP to explore themes such as sex, voyeurism and duality. This collection of tracks is a continuation on their view of the world, put best by Vanderocker herself:
“In my mind, it’s a basic study of humans on different levels, almost from an Alien National Geographic kind of perspective. ‘Here is Earth, a most beautiful place and here are the alluring creatures who call themselves human beings. Let’s observe them when they are just in their bodies...
…Now look how they change when they interact with other groups’ – like a typical lab observation, right? Which is interesting in itself; but then of course, we have to look at how amazingly powerful humans can be when they disengage from the drama and plug into something bigger than themselves.
I find comfort in all of it, when I can step back and observe us the way a newcomer might.”
Without further ado, let’s get into the tracks.
First up is ‘Cult For You’, which explores the things your body can do. As Vanderocker puts it:
“You can get off and go about your day unaffected, or you can reach other dimensions, use sex as medicine and heal yourself and/or your other, or connect to pure God essence, just by knowing how to use your body as a vessel.”
The song itself kicks off the EP in brilliant style. Immediately, you’re greeted with this reverb rock guitar sound, paired up with a heavy drum beat.
It might sound like a car crash on paper, but with the addition of her soft and high pitched voice, it marries together wonderfully.
As the song progresses, this heavy beat remains in tact, not to be beaten down by anything, keeping the high octane energy throughout the track.
I have to give a special mention to producer Brandon Eggleston here. He manages to mix the soft voice and the harsh instruments without losing Vanderocker to the beat.
This song really is a triumph, setting the bar high for the following tracks.
Not to be outdone, the second track, ‘Endless City‘, brings a soul vibe to proceedings. Don’t get me wrong, that oh so familiar rock guitar is present, but this time it’s coupled up with a deep sounding soul beat. Again, it sounds like it shouldn’t work, but trust me it does.
Halfway through, we’re hit with a really psychedelic feel, showing just how talented both artist and producer really are.
The smooth transition from one genre to another is something that deserves to be mentioned, it really is that impressive.
Harking back to ‘Cult For You’, ‘Taking Notes’ picks up the rock style guitar, giving us another high energy performance from Adrienne Vanderocker.
However, this time we’re treated to yet another one of the artist’s skills with a change in the singing style.
Made famous by bands such as The Streets, she adopts a more narrative form, providing the track with a slower pace to keep it different from previous songs.
Again though, it’s not a mistake in the slightest, the slow voice matches up brilliantly with the music, creating an amazing finish to the song.
Finally, Vanderocker treats us to a song with a more natural feel to it. While the rock guitar is ever-present, it’s lost the reverb it showcased in the first and third track.
Personally, I see this as the most obvious note that this is a well-made EP with brilliant musical knowledge behind it.
Eggleston is clearly aware of how effective the rock guitar is; by taking away the tinny sound on this final track, it shows his acute awareness to make the songs stand apart from one another.
The first minute of ‘Supercell’ is all about the build up of intensity. You can feel the beat getting heavier and faster, just waiting for the track to really get going.
When it does kick off, there’s no disappointment either. It’s another brilliant performance from the artist, topping this impressive EP off with an equally impressive final track.
However, as I’m sure Vanderocker would agree, it would be unfair to give all the credit to herself and Brandon Eggleston. The artist was helped by a whole host of recognisable names from a number of familiar bands.
For example, the guitar in ‘Cult For You’ is provided by Peter Holmstrom of The Dandy Warhols (a group which Brandon Eggleston also has ties to).
Federico Pol Jr., the man who’s worked with household names like Fleetwood Mac and Tina Turner, is the man behind the bass on ‘Taking Notes’.
A personal favourite of mine however has to be Brendan Bond‘s bass on ‘Supercell‘. As a fan of Black Pumas, it was great to see his name amongst the collaborators of the EP.
Now, if that doesn’t get you excited for the release of ‘The Good Punk’ on November 13th I don’t know what will. Until then, why not treat yourself to some of Vanderocker‘s other hits by following the Spotify link below.
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