If Vundabar B-sides are even half as good as their new album, everyone is about to be completely blown away. The Boston based duo recently put out their first single from their new album Smell Smoke due to be released in 2018.

     The re-release of the band’s 2015 album Gawk, (a follow up to their first album Antics), last spring reasserted them as some of the most skilled sludge-rocker innovators in the scene. The album served to lay down the fundamentals of the group including their heavy riffs and melodic hooks. Though it seemed they’d honed in on their style, the album still gave them room to experiment. Throwing in some slack-pop influences in “Oulala” and new-wave garage rock on “Alien Blues.”

     Bringing Gawk back into the limelight served as the perfect reintroduction to the band. In only two and a half minutes, “‘Acetone” wastes no time and delves straight into their staple clatter rock. It discusses the polarization of Brandon Hagen’s life through personal responsibilities and the origins of shame as a learned behavior in society. “Acetone” represents the need for openness and an almost renaissance like revelation for Hagen as he lets these questions smolder.

       “Glass Hand” follows suit and provides a contrast. Humming with energy but straying towards the softer side of things, it’s a slow-burn while “Acetone” is a forest fire. The use of blockish riffs create a stop and go tension laced throughout the song. It shows the dynamics of the group and proves that they’re more versatile than your standard rock band.

      Together the two tracks give the new era of Vundabar a sense of direction. Currently the band is taking their slump rock all over the USA on a tour with Hockey Dad and The Frights, converting even more listeners into dedicated fans. With the anticipation for the latest album at an all time high, one things for sure: Vundabar never disappoints.


samantha sullivan