Review by Shannon Shumaker
Punk duo Vicky Speedboat, featuring Sean Huber of Modern Baseball and Will Lindsay of WC Lindsay have released their new EP, Two Years No Basement, and it sounds just how you’d expect. The first noticeable aspect of Two Years No Basement is the emotional vocals, but that certainly isn’t the only strong thing about the EP. Coupled with personal lyricism that tells a story and strong guitar that keeps energy high and momentum chugging forward, the six songs on Two Years No Basement are captivating and raw.
“Philadelphia Contact High” opens the EP, and though it can be a little muddy at times, the vocals getting lost in the fuzzy guitars, the emotion in this song is palpable. When the line, “I’m not gonna be alone anymore” rings out for the first time during a break in the music, the mood of the album is set. The vocals and lyrics are a strong part of this track, but so is the guitar work, which makes it almost okay that sometimes, it does overpower the vocals. “Roman Candle Fires” follows “Philadelphia Contact High” and really solidifies the sound on this EP, which at times almost feels like a pleasant mix between MxPx and The Menzingers. While “Roman Candle Fires” may have a more mellow tone than the first song, the sound is still very similar, and Vicky Speedboat just seem to grow stronger with this track. The vocals have a more reverb effect on “Roman Candle Fires,” which causes them to stand out a bit more, but they don’t overpower the rest of the song, which starts with strong guitar work and is carried by sturdy drums.
“Passing Through Wales” is another change in mood, as it’s more catchy, upbeat and more on the punk side of things than “Roman Candle Fires.” However, that same tone from the first two tracks is still strong on this song, connecting them well. The guitar tone, which stays consistent through the album is also a strong connecting factor. “Daves Bed” follows “Passing Through Wales” and is bigger and more emotional. The strongest part about “Daves Bed,” though, is the key change toward the end of the song, which the duo pulls off effortlessly. There’s also a nice transition between “Daves Bed” and “Tequila Resistant,” which has a sadder, more mellow quality to the vocals, but still keeps things moving forward instrumentally. The vocal harmonies in the chorus of “Tequila Resistant” are worth noting, as they carry the song forward and set it apart from the songs that come before it.
Bringing Two Years No Basement to a close is “Weathering Bell,” which both summarizes and brings the EP to a close. “Weathering Bell” is emotional, well balanced, catchy as hell, and full of some of the album’s best instrumentation as well as captivating vocal runs. The lyrics, about losing someone, being angry and missing them, are personal yet relatable, leaving you hanging when it comes to an end. Two Years No Basement, while short, both leaves you feeling satisfied while also making you want more from Vicky Speedboat - exactly what a great EP should do.
Listen to "Roman Candle Fires"
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