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PREMIERE: Vallee Drop a Melting Pot of Rock Styles in EP ‘Vices’

Vallee Article

Let’s face it, everybody loves a rockin’ guitar band. But with so many nuances between sub genres these days it’s often hard to find a band that can hit everyone’s ‘spot’. Thankfully, Melbourne’s Vallee have released an EP that somehow blends indie-rock, pop punk, and touches of hardcore vocals and electronica. It’s a collection of songs for pretty much anyone who likes the sound of a guitar, screaming lyrics, and isn’t afraid to jump around a little.

Opening with Heroine, the EP bursts out of the blocks with plenty of indie-rock upbeat strumming. A subtle pre-chorus synthesiser and rough chorus vocals immediately show Vallee’s intentions to blend usually opposing rock styles, stylishly incorporating hardcore vocals and clean counter melodies in a solid party starter.

A deep, twisting synthesiser and scratchy lead guitar allow second track Yeah to immediately take the EP in a different direction. The song has a grungy, seductive vibe, which is only furthered by the repeated lyrics: “I Wish you would come home with me tonight”. A powerful chorus and brooding verses sees Vallee toy with stadium-sized rock progressions, held together by solid drumming by Jonathan Ong. This track will have you headbanging, or at least cool-guy nodding with the beat.

The EP’s latest single Jungle throws the EP back into party mode with an instantly charming guitar melody and tribal drumming. Again guitarist Michael Keirs delivers rough vocals, that wouldn’t sound out of place in a hardcore band, effectively contrasting against bassist Brendan Aked’s clean vocals. The song’s arrangement however somehow removes any overbearing tonal roughness, leaving behind only catchy melodies supported by just the right amount of vocal power.

Get Up Get Out delivers an engaging soundscape of Bloc Party-esque echoed shimmering guitar riffs, driving bass, crashing drums, and a floating vocal line that does just enough without intruding on the energetic instrumentation.

Ringing guitar and chugging rhythms threaten to lead Radio down an anticlimactic path, but Vallee manage the reign their beast in with an impressive overdriven guitar solo and an explosive final chorus. Think The Living End, played with just a little more youthful vigour.

In a welcome change in vocal tone, Keirs takes the sole vocal duties in the epic rock-ballad Spin. His rough, soaring vocals provide natural contrast to the EP’s previous songs, while the driven instrumentation pushes Vallee towards pop-punk territory.

“Lyrically, the themes on ‘Vices’ stem from different forms of addiction, from love and happiness, to drugs, alcohol, and sex.”

Closing track Cuba provides an upbeat end to ‘Vices’, mainly thanks to some booming tom-work and a fantastic mid-song solo by Ong. It’s a solid song with plenty of rockin’ out going on, but overall the EP’s last track is also it’s weakest.

The trio say ‘Vices’ is influenced by the new wave and post-punk revival scenes, and their dual vocals are intended to “capture the feeling of nostalgia you have on a warm summer’s day”.

“The sounds we most adhere to are the post punk revival scenes from the late 90’s onwards and the new wave scene that stems from the 80’s. What Bloc Party and The Wombats are doing is great and if we can get into that zone for even a second then we’re happy,” says Aked.

Lyrically, chief songwriters Kiers and Aked say the themes on ‘Vices’ stem from different forms of addiction, from love and happiness, to drugs, alcohol, and sex.

“We’ve done a lot of growing over the past few years, and been through a multitude of personal challenges…at some point, that stuff filters through into our song writing,” says Aked.

“We both relate to these songs differently, and even our older songs..the meanings have changed for me now. I hope people interact with these songs on a personal level and connect with them in their own ways,” says Kiers.

The Melbourne trio will be launching their latest EP ‘Vices’ on Saturday the 18th of June with fellow local rockers Self Talk, who’ll be launching their highly anticipated EP ‘Seeing What I Want To See’. See below for more info!

Album Rating: 4

Vallee ‘Vices’ EP Launch w/ Self Talk

Grace Darlington Hotel, Melbourne

Facebook Event HERE

Vallee Vices EP Artwork