Sunday 12 February 2023

Vaughanstrosity - Memes And Dreams

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 27 Jan 2023


1. Fl0w

2. Friday Night

3. When The Party Ends (Feat. Ethan Beattie)

4. Broken Hearts And Empty Bottles

I have no idea what to expect from solo project Vaughanstrosity. The brainchild of Ruaidhri Houston (bassist in So Long Until The Seance), his debut EP Memes And Dreams was digitally released only a couple of weeks ago. Vaughanstrosity is said to be influenced by everything from Don Broco to Shania Twain to Devin Townsend. If you have any clue about what's to come, then you're better than me! The EP features the drumming of Brett Martin (of Nomadus) and added vocals from Ethan Beattie (of EB and The Deadlights).

I have a feeling this is gonna be a bit outside of my wheelhouse but let’s see. EP opener ‘Fl0w’ switches between heavy hardcore/metal and clean vocals, with subtly placed samples. It’s cleverly performed and produced for sure. Classy percussion, crunching guitars and the addition of modern electronic flourishes sit very well alongside the vocals. The closest I can come to in terms of a comparison as ‘Friday Night’ kicks off is Asking Alexandria. Maybe that’s a bit unfair but the electronics pull me in that direction. It’s an up-tempo song that hits really hard when the metal’s allowed to do the talking. If I’m being honest, the synths don’t really do it any favours (but then again I’m older now and maybe a bid jaded at times).

‘When The Party Ends (Feat. Ethan Beattie)’ is more laid back initially, before it morphs into a heavy ballad of sorts, not short of American influence. It hits hard and shows a different side to Vaughanstrosity that’s more dramatic, and meaningful. EP closer ‘Broken Hearts And Empty Bottles’ borrows from Euro-dance/techno, building up to a repeating chorus and auto-tune that makes sense in context. When Vaughanstrosity regains a sense of heaviness, there’s a joyous feel about this release. 

I always try to approach reviews with an open mind and most of the time I know roughly what’s coming. In the case of the EP, I had know idea. It’s catchy, well-written and played. I’m not going to shy away from the fact that I’m a bit long in the tooth (in my mid-late thirties) but I can see why this release will appeal to many people, no matter their musical persuasion. 

You can stream Memes And Dreams via various outlets here -

Vaughanstrosity -

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