Thursday, 1 December 2011

Review: VVolves - When I'm Down EP

Pic taken from http://vvolves.bandcamp.com/

VVolves are a newly formed band from Cardiff whose members enjoyed previous success with Zimmermans and Byd Dydd Sul, supporting the likes of Marina and the Diamonds and Race Horses, in addition to receiving Radio 1 and Radio Cymru airplay. 

This new union has also attracted Welsh music royalty attention, as VVolves were invited to play at one of Bethan Elfyn’s ‘And Friends’ nights in Buffalo, Cardiff, and they’ve also supported the venerated Welsh bands Gallops and Threatmantics. In short, they come recommended. But what do they sound like? I investigated via their October released EP, When I’m Down

My first impressions were reminiscent of Late '90s/early '00s indie, with a refreshed feel. Their sound is an understated, melancholic, melodic industrial, interspersed with gorgeous soaring vocals, haunting synth and sometimes spiky guitar. Comparison wise, I’d mix hints of Gene and The Longpigs with glimpses of The Cure and The Libertines along with US venture Broken Bells, to concoct a VVolves-y feel. One of the three tracks, Where You’d Start, has been re-mixed by flourishing Cardiff producer Matthew Mayes, aka Channel Swimmer, resulting in a beguiling, subtle dancey version flooded with layers, beats and an echoey 'The XX' style intro, which becomes addictive after the first play.

This is a great, extra listenable-to EP which shows promise for the Peski Records signed band. I’m hoping for more releases in the future, and if you fancy checking them out in the meantime, the Channel Swimmer remix is available as a free download on Bandcamp.