17th August 2018
1. Ctrl Alt Mexicans / 2. Steel Bones / 3. Deaf Epic / 4. Your Thoughts Are A Plague / 5. Whatever You Will / 6. The Professional / 7. Tell No One / 8. The Strangler / 9. Another Hit / 10. I'll Cut You / 11. Death Of Us All / 12. Empurrar/Puxar
The human mind loves to stereotype. Snap judgements, mentally sectioning stuff off, is the only way we manage to cope with the sensory onslaught that constantly bombards us. But initial impressions can be oddly deceptive. Before experiencing Vuvuvultures’s music, for example, you might imagine them to be a bit intense, perhaps even intimidating. There’s the dark, some might say gothic imagery that peppers their visuals and videos: eyes in mouths, mouths for eyes, lips dribbling black blood. The backstory is uncompromisingly underground: self-promoted parties in abandoned buildings, rather than the regular new-band circuit. And the lyrical themes hardly seem designed for daytime radio, tracks boasting titles like I’ll Cut You, Death Of Us All and Your Thoughts Are A Plague. But then you actually hear those songs, and the word that springs to mind, more often than not, is ‘pop.’ But then you actually hear those songs, and the word that springs to mind, more often than not, is ‘pop.’ "The first impression a lot of people get of us is like ‘wow, who is this dark, intimidating band?’ but I don’t think we’re actually like that," muses singer Harmony Boucher, possessor of the quartet’s most pronounced "pop bone", but whose icy poise adds to the ominous air. "We could be quite easily mistaken for a band that takes itself very seriously," drummer Matt Christensen concurs. "But our approach is really quite fun. Even if it is a little sinister in places." Nicole Bettencourt Coelho’s PA-blowing basslines - an occupational hazard at their early gigs - and Paul Ressel’s varied, quirky riffs may grab the immediate attention, but the mighty hooks only hint at what lies beneath. Underpinning their work is an ethos and process more familiar to eccentric electronic producers: painstakingly composed sonic sculptures, but destined for a guitar band. Much of Push/Pull was recorded with the much-admired Max Heyes (Doves/Massive Attack/Primal Scream) at his Lynchmob studios, a space awash with "old analogue gear, vintage tape delay, Neve consoles, great mics," says Nicole. "Max is a tad crazy but a truly talented engineer from the analogue world." They did then think about inventing some innovative new way of releasing those tracks, but, no, a good old-fashioned album it is. And Vuvuvultures definitely is a band. "Let’s not call it a project, ever," she insists.