VACUUM TREE HEAD – Thirteen!

Pest Colors Cat

When music is chock full of stylistic ingredients, choosing to limit the extent of an album to less than half an hour is a smart move; at 21 minutes, Thirteen! is almost perfect in that sense. Leader Jason Berry – a multi-instrumentalist, like most of the participants – defines VTH as “a wide-ranging band that defies easy categorization”. Indeed, this particular work – characterized by top-rank instrumental performances and “Bangles-meet-punk” vocals by Sylvia Gordon and Lucy Foley – contains lots of familiar echoes that might find us thinking about similarities yet blend efficiently in a plausibly effervescent magma. Picture a cauldron comprising elements of the lighter Zappa, Tubes, U Totem, Ramones, surf pop and the Mission: Impossible soundtrack, and you’ll get a vague idea of the overall sound. The record is by now two years old, but it still constitutes a valid introduction to a highly energetic bunch of technically equipped musicians. Need some light-hearted, cinnamon-spiced divertissement? Give these cultured brats a chance and you won’t be disappointed.

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