Saturday, 9 February 2013

Vagiant - Gospel According To Vagiant


Vagiant are a Russian band that came to my attention last year. I got sent their debut EP - Gospel According To Vagiant, which came in a really nice gatefold sleeve with quite striking artwork. The band themselves are a mix of punk, hardcore and noise rock and after reading their bandcamp page, they also promise math-rock esque parts which seems to be very popular amongst Eastern European bands at the moment.

Tracklist:-

1. Welcome
2. Origins of Man
3. Eternal Quest For Endless Beauty
4. How Bad Is Your Karma
5. Molerats

Gospel According to Vagiant begins with a voice machine intro in Russian called Welcome. I can't speak Russian so I had no idea what was being said. Origins Of Man is the first song proper on the EP. It's a cool amalgamation of experimental punk with a mixture of shouted and cleanly sung vocals. Some people may find it a bit too edgy or grating, but it fits their noisy sound really well.

Vagiant play around with different song structures, with Origins of Man sounding like one long verse. Eternal Quest For Endless Beauty follows a similar path, except Vagiant use quieter and more introspective instrumentation here. Its pretty challenging stuff actually as there are moments of utter madness, but it's not all-out heavy like you'd expect from math-rock bands and it has elements of surf-rock and prog infused within it. The guitar solo at the end of the song is pretty epic and hints some brilliant musical prowess when Vagiant are more focused on a traditional rock sound.

How Bad Is Your Karma features more of that rock sound, but mainly in the vocals. Don't be fooled though, it's still an oddball song that may well take multiple listens to fully understand! The production is good as well, although part of me thinks that no amount of production would make this record any easier to listen to (and I mean that in a good way). As I've found with other bands from Eastern Europe recently, they don't like to follow the crowd and Vagiant definitely are no different. 

Before you know it, EP closer Molerats is building with an extended instrumental intro of both cleanly plucked and electric guitar. There's the odd hint of Fleetwood Mac in this song, probably due to the dual male/female vocals. That's as far as that comparison goes though, as it's not long before Vagiant lurch back into their madcap noise-rock. Overall, this is not for someone looking for instant musical gratification as it's experimental, noisy and will require you to pay attention. Vagiant are pushing boundaries in their own way and for that they should be applauded.

The EP is up as a pay-what-you-want download via Vagiant's bandcamp page, where it's also streaming:-


Vagiant are also on Facebook here - http://www.facebook.com/vagiantrussia.

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