Vodka Spoiler



Vodka Spoiler – Vodka Spoiler is the studio project of some friends of mine from Japan, Shane and Ken and who knows else, and Arkansas is their cool little outing initial experimental offering. The band gives us 13 songs of pure rock bliss, mixed with some cool electronics like in the opening tune “Intro”; this blends with “Sacrifice”, a decent rockers”, while “1000 Virgins” is more whiney punk, with a singalong chorus sung by Shane that has some wicked bass going for it. Nice. The title track “Arkansas” is like a fast-moving Cure song (yes, there are some) that is full of bass, and has this weird echoing strangled vocals from Shane. “The Prospect” is more like angular Pavement stuff, with some nice surf guitar, it chugs on and on in well-produced alternative-ness. “Resolve” is a cool prog rock song that starts off as as a bummed out little groover with a nice bass feel, but ends up as another type of song, with wild space flights throughout, getting wilder and wilder; unfortunately, the drum sound is very splatty and sounds somewhat programmed (it may not be). “Manipulation Acumen” is a pretty darn cool little folk rocker.

Somehow the band saves the big guns for the second half of the recording, or Side B. “Smirk And A Shudder” is a very cool, plodding, dark number that really fills the gaps, sort of like a slumbering, menacing Alice In Chains number, maybe. “Darwin Was Wrong” is a very cool grungy rock number that just slays in all ways. “Compassion Fatigues” is cool and poppy in a heavy way, grinding on and on in a sort of lumbering manner. Nice transitions in the latter part of the song, the longest on the release. “Uncle Volt” is a groove-rocker that pops perfectly. “Araya” is pure punk grind, and very different from anything else on the album. Oh Lord yeah!! The final song “Sentinel” is pretty mellow, starting off with simple guitar chords, before building up with some electronic beats and some groovy atmosphere, it’s one of the best songs on the album with some hair-raising vocal blur that notches the grind a half-beat slower than it should be and just blocks the heart. Shane’s vocals are a wall of sound that just clobbers you. Wow, this album sounds great!!

You can only buy the songs on Bandcamp, so check it out now (there’s a nice touch with the Bandcamp songs – nearly every song comes with a different “cover”, and some of them are really beautiful).

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