I’m really digging on The Vices, I’ve reviewed them before, I keep some music of theirs on my favorite playlists and to be honest, I was honored to get a sneak peek at the band’s upcoming EP. A Dutch quartet, The Vices are no strangers to releasing great music, I wasn’t the least bit apprehensive about this new release, I was sure it was headphone gold. August 28th marks the release of, Good Morning City, Now Let Me Sleep, an EP that proved to be an amazing work despite the Shift Key Rodeo it is to type its title! The EP is a four-song package of 3 minute and something, pop kernels.
EPs are weird inventions, and good ones do their job of making you want for more – case in point. After all, an album can take up 43 minutes of your life – can you imagine? But I digress, to make a solid EP is challenging. It takes restraint to only choose 4 of your best at that given moment in time. Order of songs is so important because you only have one chance to grab the listener’s attention. The Vices’ new release has an album feel to it, but in an EP format. The band has managed to put together a project that captures your attention in less than the amount of time it takes to play one Pink Floyd song; it’s no easy feat.
Call The Vices what you will, garage pop, indie pop, 4 friends with a band problem, despite industry labels, The Vices transcend in songwriting and performance. Their music is steeped in the 60’s. Its vintage guitar tones, cheesy organ sounds (the good cheesy), round and rolling bass tones (like a great Animals track) give The Vices a great foundation for their sound. It’s based on something, but not stolen from anything. Their songwriting, lyricism and delivery are modern, evolving from what things were during rock’s heyday, thankfully.
Sly Smiled Berlin Child, the opening track, is jangly one, staggered and dry are the bratty guitar tones, organ tones ground us and remind us who we’re listening to, The Vices keyboardist gets it.
The band pushes forward into the reggae-flavored, Boy where the welcoming, melodic bass line winds us through a different sort of rhythmic journey, however, not too far out of The Vices grip (I know, sorry). Lead vocalist, Floris van Luijtelaar gets to stretch his legs a bit here. He’s displaying his capabilities as a singer and not just the usual quick, quirky delivery we all know and love.
The title track of the EP, Good Morning City, Now Let Me Sleep is rhythmically forward, all tracks by The Vices are, it’s refreshing to see how they push their own boundaries of their music with each track. An interesting rolling guitar line, intriguing bass part and stellar backing vocals make this track the strongest on the EP (IMHO). Ground zero for those great vintage guitar tones we spoke about previously and a raucous finale make this my favorite stop on the EP.
Yellow Road, closes up with an unusual, calming vocal delivery, out-of-pocket chord changes and overall release of the listener back into their regularly scheduled life; it’s the perfect ending. Floris van Luijtelaar’s lead vocal always fits so nicely in the tight spaces it’s allowed and Yellow Road is a perfect example of this. I did appreciate the children’s chorus at the end, because, well, who doesn’t like children?
This EP is right up there with other great ones I have heard in 2020. It’s sure to be an essential part of this great band’s legacy.