Vowws – Under The World
By: John McCall
Under The World, by Vowws, a duo from Australia, transplanted to LA, is the new full-length album produced by Matt and Rizz along with engineer Kevin S. McMahon, on Anti-Language Records in the US and Weyrd Son Records in Europe. Recorded in New Paltz, NY, at McMahon’s studio, and it’s also available on 2-colored vinyl in Europe and the band are on a North American tour. The artwork was done by artist Jesse Draxler, who has worked with Zola Jesus, Chelsea Wolfe, and Alexander McQueen. Not being familiar with this young duo, I was taken by surprise when I heard this new album, because it’s chock full of enormously satisfying tunes with multi-layers of pop, rock and theatrical music.
You never know what you’ll find until you listen to something, which could be what “You Never Knew” is all about, but it’s neither her nor there, because it gets you going with total abandon as the Under The World track list gets started singing a repeated line “I just knew what I wanted, you never knew what you wanted.” And that’s really the whole song. It doesn’t take much to please, and they knock it out of the park on this gem with no better way to open an album. And it’s not even the best track, but it’s one of them, which every self-respecting opener should be. They meet that industry standard with flying colors.
Not a step is lost as they forge on with the sublime and majestic “Esseff,” even if I still can’t tell what this track is about. It’s no less brilliant than the first track in all the same ways. And they continue to impress as they go with “One Or The Other” winding up another kind of song altogether, working with equal content to be found thus far with yet another huge track. But they do slow it down somewhat on “Burn” with a more-subtle track that runs in somewhere the middle lane, but it’s a decent track worth mentioning, even if it’s not as busy as some of the others. They take nothing away from each other though.
“Structure Of Love” is the most romantically hypnotic track on the album, it’s a combo of youth and adult contemporary elements that bring this track together and make it so well-rounded for an overall magnum opus. And if that doesn’t keep you interested, “Wild Wind” will finish the job and leave you wanting more and more. And more is what you get on “Agents Of Harmony” with another grand effort to pull off a big sounding track. And that’s a lot of punch so far for any album to bring, and there’s still four big tracks to go which stand right up alongside them.
“Inside Out” starts and you’ll agree with that assessment from the get go as it proceeds to turn in more of the above, and maybe even top a few of them. It’s as fast paced as any energetic track on the album, and a cool song about discovery. “Forget You Finery” flies at about the same beats per second, and reminiscent of the B52s, and if anyone else the Talking Heads to mention a couple of possible influences. And “Charm And Demand” with the “Game” make a good combo of tracks to cruise off into the sunset while listening too, or simply kick back to on the headphones at night before bedtime. This album rocks any situation.