I hope you all had an amazing holiday! I know I did but I’m pretty sure I’m still in a slight food coma from all of the deliciousness I had on Thursday. That being said, work doesn’t stop and although I don’t seem to have the attention span for work emails, I absolutely have the attention span for some new music so let’s hop into Vulgar Commons’ new EP ‘Nicotine Fingers’ and see what this band and this EP is all about!
This quick release kicks off with “Country Club”. It instantly hops into a garage rock vibe with slamming guitars which are quickly joined in by a quick and powerful drumbeat. The vocals that come in after just a few second match the guitar rock vibe laid out initially. A little grit and a whole lot of intensity, I expected the vocals to stay on pace with everything else so was a bit surprised as they broke into a bit more of a melodic part within the first minute of this track. There’s almost something old-school about the vocals during the more sung parts. They have an almost crooner style to them but nothing else about this opening track changes which makes for a super cool contrast between the vocals and instrumentation.
The title track, “Nicotine Fingers”, continues with that cool blend of sound and styles but definitely let the vocals take the reigns which I adored. Again, I felt this almost old-spirit in the style of the vocals but it didn’t feel dated at all. It’s a weird thing to try and put into words but it almost has Danzig (from Misfits) quality to it only way way better than that. Although, at face value, they are a bit flat-lined, I love the amount of emotion that is somehow conveyed with every word without dramatic crescendos or anything. I feel like I spent the majority of “Nicotine Fingers” just trying to figure it out all out and, as the album moved onto “Joanne’s the Man”, I still hadn’t quite put my finger on it.
“Joanne’s the Man” brings an almost grungy vibe to this EP which made it an instant favorite of mine. Like the previous tracks, the driving guitarwork made this nearly four song track feel like it was over in the blink of an eye. There’s something a bit sharper about the vocals in this track. Although it’s still clearly the same vocalist as the previous songs, there’s something just a little bit more threatening about the tone in this song. Okay, maybe threatening isn’t the greatest word to use but I think when you hear this track, you will get it. It just has a bit more of an edge and sense of intensity that I wanted oh so much more of.
Just when I thought I had Vulgar Commons pegged, they threw “Premature Gomer” at me. This one starts off completely differently than the three previous tracks. It’s playful and almost whimsical with more of an indie pop vibe than I had heard previously on this album. Although I’m not typically one for the indie-pop stuff unless I am working, I found myself hopelessly addicted to this track. There’s something almost nostalgic about it. Throwing it back to The Strokes and almost as far back as the 90s pop bands I still have a soft spot for, the style of this track caught me off guard but in all of the right ways.
Vulgar Commons ends this five-song EP with the epic and aptly named, “That’s All”. Ending the release with a sense of undeniable anthemic power, “That’s all” is less of a curve ball than “Premature Gomer” but still shows an entirely new side of this band. The anthemic power here is staggering and it has an almost arena-ready sound that I feel like I haven’t gotten from any recent albums that I’ve listened through. Although it does have that big sound quality to it, this track is still clearly that of Vulgar Commons and that’s what’s the most important. This song is the longest at over five minutes long but it’s a quick listen (like the others) and has one of the best endings I have heard in a long time. It builds into a controlled freak out before calming back down to a simmer that closes out this EP in just the best possible way (and there’s a surprise when you make it to the very very end).
I loved how throughout all five of these tracks, Vulgar Commons made sure that you knew it was them and had their distinct sound shine brightly through each track regardless of the curve balls they threw in there. What a great listen for a day when I just needed something to help jumpstart my body, mind and spirit.
My Favorite Track(s): “Joanne’s the Man”; “Premature Gomer”
For Fans Of: Garage Rock; Danzig Styld Vocals; Power
Mosh-ability: 6 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept on the floor right next to my desk; Autumn slept upstairs on the floor; Alfie (yeah, that’s right, there’s a third now) slept all cuddled up in my lap
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8.5 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
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