There is a wave of alternative rock talent erupting from the recording studios, and the live music circuits of Britain – this has inevitably lead to a whole bunch of very similar sounding groups on the scene. But there is something about Kevin and the Vandals which adds something new to the genre, or rather, they are bringing back a sound which the genre desperately needs.
Their debut single ‘Scapegoat’ kicks off with a cracking guitar riff, which immediately takes me back to the great mid 00s indie scene, a time where music within the alternative vein peaked. The pace of the drumming and the slickness of the guitar creates a nostalgic sounding alternative sound, and reminds me of the best bands of the time. There are four members in the group at present; Callum (also affectionately known as Fiddler) plays bass, Ollie is the group’s drummer, Dan is on lead guitar, whilst Josh sings and plays the rhythm guitar.
Josh’s fruity, orotund vocals ensure his lyrics can be heard with clarity, and his husky vocals compliment the rough gritty feel of the guitars and drums. His voice is like other vocalists in up and coming indie rock groups such as The Sherlocks and MISFIRES, who are rapidly rising up the ranks. There’s a punchy verse questioning how the target of the song will get out ‘of this shithole’, and how ‘they’ve made a right mess’ – a lot of the youth of today feel others before them have messed up the society they live in and they’ve got to live in the mistakes they have made. The angst and bitter meaning of the song is echoed further in ‘Scapegoat’s’ chorus – ‘It’s not our fault / we’ve done no wrong / we were born into this world, now we’ve got to deal with it’.
Alongside ‘Scapegoat’, Kevin and the Vandals have also put out a B Side for their debut release, and resulting track ‘Maybe’ is equally as good as their official single. For a band who has only been officially active since February this year, they’ve already supported the earlier mentioned MISFIRES, at their March gig at the Victoria in Swindon. ‘Scapegoat’ has been released as a single on several websites including Apple Music and Spotify, but I’ve put up the Spotify link where you can check out both ‘Scapegoat’ and ‘Maybe’.
Photo used in the article & featured image taken by Eden Poole.