The debut release from Vampire Weekend

When this self titled release from Vampire Weekend landed on my doormat, from the name I expected something a little darker, more alternative and something with much more of a beat. What I got was from these four American lads was not as the press released described “indie rock,” but a style of music that has been mixed it up with some new flavours.

This CD bares little resemblance to indie rock with its inclusion of strings, organs harpsichord and afro-funk guitars. To be honest, it is probably these elements that make ‘Vampire Weekend’ at all memorable. Other than the occasional insert of stings, there was nothing mind grabbing, rather mind numbing.

To begin with there was the bands debut single ‘Mansard Roof,’ this has a few short sharp pops, but with the repetitive rhythm and vocals of very little interest, the track failed to maintain my attention. This was quickly followed by another “beep beep” in the form of ‘Oxford Comma,’ likewise this number was rather flat. Then there were ‘M79’, ‘One (Blake’s Got A New Face)’ and ‘The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance’ among many others that just seemed to drag on to the bitter end.

On things that did interest me was ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’. In the press release that came accompanying this CD, front man Ezra states “The guitar part of ‘Cape Cod’ is one of our most African sounding songs, ” he goes on to say that with the accordion music it could be said to sound Irish. What a load of crap. If that is the case, have you guys ever heard African guitars or one of those Irish musicians, it is nothing like either of these. It is another dull and very lifeless tune.

The only two songs that sound in the least bit interesting were ‘A-Punk’ for its use of lively guitars and a smoother underlying rhythm; this was very different to the rest of the album. The other was ‘I Stand Corrected,’ a tune with a much slower pace, stings and is practically acoustic at times.

I admit, beside the lack of interesting sounds I was hearing, the lyrical content of the songs varied in such content that they did keep me on my feet. From words on grammar, architecture to preferred bus routes to name but a few. Unfortunately, the vocals that accompanied the quite interesting lyrics only had enough effect on me to say “huh” and then turn back to whatever I was doing.

For a debut I guess the lads are just getting into the swing of things, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. But when a second release comes around, I expect better.