Brooklyn-based trio Vassals return in 2017 with a four-track EP entitled Halogen Days. It’s their newest release since 2015 and, overall, they’ve had a short musical career, only releasing their first album in 2012. Their style can best be described as dazed and confused indie rock with some slight bits of punk rock sprinkled in. Their rhythms are switched up constantly in creative ways, yet they maintain a sludgy movement throughout the EP to embody the exhausting, contradicting ideas that quarrel their brains.
What this band makes up for in rhythmic syncopation, they truly lack in artistic flare. They have a slight tendency to embody the styles that we’ve heard before from bands like Silversun Pickups, or even Local Natives, but there are no fresh ideas that truly make them stand out among other artists of their style. Songs like “Sea Spells” and “Moonless” seem to start off on a good foot, but after a few minutes of listening, we are almost grateful for the rhythmic changes that follow. “Ghostwood”, the final track on the album, has one of the best punk-sensible interludes towards the end of the tune, but even the very final idea on the album is kind of a lost one.
The saving grace on this EP is “SoHo” which has received notoriety not only for its garage-punk angst but also its bizarre, drug-induced music video (which I recommend watching for the Garfield and Tom Cruise cameo appearance). While Vassals may not be our first pick for musical innovation, their career is still taking off. And for anyone who has not yet listened to them, there are likely to be more unique works in their earlier releases as well as their releases to come.
Top Tracks: SoHo