VUNDABAR – ”  Either Light “

Posted: June 28, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Boston duo Vundabar released their fourth studio album earlier this year, “Either Light”. On the same day, they postponed the majority of their headlining tour in support of the album from March to July. The record comes at a difficult time for everyone, and the music industry taking an especially notable hit. In a world shrouded in darkness, Either Light serves as a beacon of hope, grappling with the existential nihilism on everyone’s mind with the help of twinkling guitars and frontperson Brandon Hagen’s unique vocal delivery.

Many rock bands make the pivot to synth-pop—with varying degrees of success. Though my perception of them is skewed by their scrappy, rambunctious live shows, Boston indie rockers Vundabar were actually the perfect candidate for this pivot, given that their previous albums had hints of surf, new wave and post-punk—all especially danceable forms of music. The band’s latest album, “Either Light”, which dropped earlier this year, sees them dive headfirst into the pop world—drum machines, sequencers, layered vocals, synths and all. When the sassy, melodic promo single “Burned Off,” came out a few months ago, I was blown away, but I hadn’t returned to the rest of the album until now. While “Burned Off” offers wonderfully over-the-top new wave vocals likely Brandon Hagen’s best and most emotive lead vocal performance to date “Petty Crime” is indie-dance-meets-punk-pop gold and “Never Call” has one of the most earworm-y riffs I’ve heard this year. As playful as it is, it’s also particularly wistful and mature in sound and sentiment, recalling Echo and the Bunnymen, Talk Talk and XTC at times—it’s a slick record, but it also has the girth of catchy, dynamic songwriting behind it.

‘Either Light’ out March 13th 2020 on Gawk Records

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