Reviewed by Brooke Curtis
Vast Countenance/As We Please
The Dutch band Vast Countenance are true disciples of the ’60s. On As We Please, you will hear various influences from the time period but given a post-alternative edge that makes the band closer in spirit to garage revivalists such as the Strokes yet minus the hipper-than-thou attitude. The rollicking keyboards of “As I Please” gives the song an Americana vibe; the vocals recall John Fogerty in his youthful prime. It is catchy, toe-tapping classic rock that hints at the rest of the retro goodies to be mined inside.
The scruffy, high-speed guitar work of “This Year’s Fall” echo not just ’60s rockers but the ’80s indie-pop acts that were similarly inspired by such work including the New Zealand post-punks on the Flying Nun label and even the Wedding Present, especially when the tempo goes into overdrive. Breathtakingly energetic stuff. “Trumpet Slide” has a long instrumental build-up that is definitely a nod to the Velvet Underground with its mesmerizing, downbeat guitars and Nico-ish haunted singing. For those searching for straightforward rock & roll, jump to the last three cuts wherein Vast Countenance capture the bar-band grit and amp fuzz of the Rolling Stones and the Who in their rebellious heydays.