28 Oct 2015

The Vryll Society / Pangea (EP review)

With the possibility of the Stone Roses' potential Third Coming on the lips of lots of major publications, I'm going to throw this out there - when you've got The Vyrll Society making the greatest 'baggy' indie rock for decades, who needs a band that have been inactive for well over twenty years to come back and do what the Vrylls are doing a tiny bit worse?

Taking just the right bits of the Stone Roses' aesthetic, namely the frontman's Ian Brown swagger that gets playful without ever being obnoxious, and blending it with dreamy, abstract guitars that come halfway between the bagginess of The Charlatans and Blur's Leisure with the ethereality of The Cocteau Twins, making for some of the best revivalist rock and roll in the country today.

Pangea is their first proper full EP, and it's a blinder that captures their live sound perfectly. The highlight is the vibrant number Coshh that gets that Madchester swagger going in full swing to a sonic backdrop of some shoegazing guitars and instrumental screams. It's the Vrylls at the peak of their powers, and explains just why so many people are entranced by them and their live shows.

The Egg sees them expand their sonic palette, with a winding song structure that sounds a bit like Shine On You Crazy Diamond meets Do You Remember by The Horrors, which is a perfect recipe for lusciously textured indie pop, whilst Metropolis is almost like I'd imagine Wilco to sound like if someone spiked their drinks with LSD as they walked out to perform - everything's brilliantly written, and it sounds almost as if Americana music is melting.

Air is maybe the track that's best known from the EP, and will appeal most to standard indie rock fans, with its sassy delivery and its leather clad strut, but it's maybe most appealing to me because it's the song on which frontman Michael Ellis sounds at his most like Ride's Mark Gardener; it's probably the EP's only real filler track, but it's by no means a bad song.

This as a first EP has come such a long way from the basic bluesiness of the Deep Blue Skies single, and offers four cuts that show the band to be a really accomplished force already, that could really release a very good album very soon. They might seem a bit too Stone Roses onstage, but I assure you, there's nothing the Roses could do if they got back in the studio that could parallel the Pangea EP by The Vryll Society.


(written by calum cashin)