Upset The Rhythm Presents |
Vital Idles are primitive and whimsically brutal prospect for the conglomerate of art outsiders and aesthetes. Sculpting a skeleton from a body already lean, there’s a thrilling minimalism that runs through every beat and strum, a sparseness that feeds Jessica Higgins’s surreal, oblique vocal delivery all the nourishment it needs. Playing their first shows in Glasgow in 2015 during a summer that never threatened to show up, Vital Idles’ origins are closely tied with a tireless underground culture, a culture that informs the band’s refusal to take it easy. Matthew Walkerdine, Nick Lynch and Higgins are responsible for Glasgow DIY publishing institution Good Press – an independent volunteer-staffed zine and art book shop – while Guitarist Ruari MacLean’s pedigree stretches back to breakneck-indie-pop group Golden Grrrls and the Rose McDowall band. Following two self-released demos and a sold out debut 7″, Vital Idles arrive on Upset The Rhythm with ‘Left Hand’, a bare manifesto layered with meaning and non-meaning. The group can conceivably be called artists, or Artists, but in approaching their debut album Vital Idles have stripped away all extraneous ornamentation to evoke an incredibly life-like, vibrant pop music completely détourned and re-thought. These are pop songs unwilling to bend to convention, chart hits in the alternative timeline where Messthetics compilations are Now That’s What I Call Music, peppered with endlessly inventive linguistics that reveal emotional depth, a dry, punk minimalism able to turn on a dime into a mouldy, witty kitchen sink story narrated by Samuel Beckett. It’s a tension that threatens to fall apart into dissonance or resolve into sweetness but thankfully does neither, rather it keeps Vital Idles moving forward, never standing still, never taking it easy.