Album Review: VANT – Dumb Blood

Well accomplished debut from the fun yet heavy four piece which displays the best of British rock.

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British four piece VANT have been slowly emerging on everyone’s radars, since their arrival in 2015, as one of the biggest potential rock bands in the UK to break through the market. Lead singer Mattie Vant’s angry vocals sit perfectly alongside Billy Morris’s huge base lines and David Green’s crashing drums. With big riffs from guitarist Henry Eastham, the band have created a wonderful sprawling indie rock sound which enfuses harder rock, punk and grunge influences to bolster their sound. Debut album Dumb Blood is a glorious debut from the group which looks to follow the success of Wolf Alice and Slaves who both impressed with iconically sounding debut albums.

The album’s success is partly down to the huge sound the band manage to create throughout their music. Opening track The Answer teases us all in with it’s lengthy instrumental intro before eventually switching everything up a gear and smashing through the barrier with its huge rock chorus. Rock and punk influences can be heard throughout the record for example the punky, Courtney Barnett styled Fly-By-Alien or on track Parking Lot with its Foo Fighters styled verses based around fast strummed guitar and vocals only. The track itself is based on sexual assault and the issues that come around with sexual consent.  Elements of Nirvana and Foo Fighters can also be seen in huge track Karma Seeker with its grungy intro into its punky, drum dominated chorus.

The band have been strong political speakers both in and outside of their music. The album contains several references to current day issues in which we all face around the world. Put Down Your Gun is a clearly aimed shot at the current fear in society. Lines “Stop living in fear / Put down your gun” could be a reference to many a shooting, war or coupe. Lampoon takes direct fire at the current generation with its stripped back verses and Foo Fighters style chorus. Matty Vant’s vocals are reminiscent of Dave Grohl’s snarl, repeating chorus line “Everything is wrong with this generation”.

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The band, at times, have the ability to strip everything back to create a more indie pop feel which is oddly refreshing at times in the album. I Don’t Believe in God, tackles various issues from death to addiction. Lines “People shoot up just to feel something / Some people die, end up with nothing” show a more personal connection to the song for the band. The band display a completely different sound for the trippy Are We Free? which at seven minutes long, is the longest song on the album by far. It starts with a two and a half minute intro before the vocals come in and a mellow, almost slacker like song is created. Peace and Love is VANT’s indie moment. The calmer, poppier sound of the whole song is reminiscent of early Catfish & The Bottlemen and is bound to grab the attention of many people.

The band as a whole are very modern, but there are elements in their debut album in which you can see the older influences within their music. The track of the album Do You Know Me? is old fashioned rock and roll, with the swagger of Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl? alongside a stunning guitar solo. Old school rock and roll track Parasite, sees Mattie singing at such a pace it seems like he is rapping throughout the track, which takes influences from the Sex Pistols and The Clash.

The album as a whole shows rock and roll at it’s best with cheap thrills, such as the humorous yet NSFW lyrics on some of the tracks. Yet despite this, the album contains some important messages, displaying the ability of the band as a whole and the intelligence they weave into their music.

8/10

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