18 Jul 2015

Vapour Trail introduces : spotlight on three slightly more obscure guitar bands you should know about

Gone are the days when the charts were dominated by musicians genuinely loving what they do. It's a subject that receives constant attention as people wistfully reminisce about a time where the top 40 wasn't so manafactured and over produced. In an attempt to bring back this so called real music, bands such as Royal Blood and Catfish and the Bottlemen receive a great deal of airplay. Even so, the generic 'it sounds a bit like Oasis/The Strokes/Arctic Monkeys' description that it's easy to lump on these shows just how repetitive mainstream indie guitar music is getting. Here are 3 of the more obscure bands of this guitar music genre you should check out (or you'll hear about someway or another soon enough). Don’t get me wrong, ‘real music’ makes me sound a little ignorant, of course there’s not really much limit to what can qualify as music, but for me, a band writing music amongst themselves is what I personally appreciate most.

1.) VANT
A London-based four-piece offering a truly energetic and exciting sound. Although they too have been compared to the likes of the Strokes, (although really, who hasn’t these days?) VANT aren't one of those bands you can pin definite influences too. Their sound is new and exciting and, unlike a lot of the consumerist pop dominating the charts, and relationship-central indie bands that dominate the music press, their songs discuss more important subjects; frontman Mattie sings about things he cares about. Debut single Parasite is a meagre 1:25 long, and left DJ Zane Lowe reaching for the repeat button 3 times in only one show. Second single Do You Know Me? first graced my ears a few weeks back after Annie Mac played it on late night Radio 1. It was one of those rare instant love moments. So far these two singles are the bands only releases, but with a recent record deal with Parlophone, VANT are only just getting started.

2.) The Family Rain
At the more blues-y end of the spectrum sits The Family Rain, a Bath trio comprised of brothers Will, Ollie and Tim. On a late night Youtube discovery session last year, I stumbled across the band’s debut single Trust me...I'm a Genius, intrigued by the song title I then fell in love with singles Feel Better (FRANK) and  Reason to Die. I'd never really heard anything like it, their classic rock sound is infused with something unique, employing intense riffs and witty wordplay to blend the blues and rock genres smoothly and effortlessly together. Perhaps it’s also frontman Will’s snarling and ferocious vocals that have the ability to be softer and melodic as well as intense, or simply the fact that the band are genuine. Interviews with the brothers will have you fall a little bit in love. Their Jim Abbiss produced debut album Under the Volcano is a real musical treat.

3.) The Bohicas
Perhaps more of a recognisable name as the band have been furiously backed by the NME in recent times, with the sparky Essex fourpiece doing an acoustic session for the magazine’s Youtube channel. The Bohicas are the epitome of cool, clad in leather jackets and playing what’s really just fun indie rock music, they’re everything you’d expect from a band signed to the same record company as Arctic Monkeys. Their biggest hit to date To Die For is energetic and packed with a real punch. The Bohicas aren’t really what you’d call a meaningful band, and they’re a bit samey if I’m honest, but if you’re looking for feel-good songs with guitar riffs you simply have to dance too and a drum beat you simply can t help but tap your foot to, the Bohicas are where to look.

(written by imogen carter de jong)