Vanishing Kids – ‘Untitled’ EP Review

To quote the band’s email, we may well be drowning in an infinite sea of music, but there’s always time for an EP that combines elements of psyche, shoe gaze, post punk and doom and so here we are with the new EP from Vanishing kids whose 2005 release, ‘the selfish mirror’, made waves thanks, at least in part, to the involvement of Martin Atkins (PIL, NIN, Killing Joke etc.). A four-track EP, ‘Untitled’ is available free via bandcamp (although you really should consider putting a small sum down for the band’s hard work), and offers up four, lengthy tracks for your auditory delight.

The EP opens with ‘Mockingbird’, a dreamy, somnolent number that appears under skies arced with the streaming fire of sheet lightening feedback and huge droning chords. There’s weight to the riffs and yet a lightness of touch amidst the post-rock ambience that elicits a dreamy sensation and when the vocals finally tear themselves from a wall of undulating reverb, the slide towards the realm of post-punk melodicism is complete. Mysterious and involved, this is night-time music for lost souls and it certainly ensnares the senses with its sylph-like touch and creeping sense of unease. ‘Eyes of secrets’ builds from layers of quivering synth, slowly weaving an atmosphere that has more to do with the dark experimentation of massive attack and, over it all, ominous clouds of heavily textured guitars loom. With the listener now firmly embedded in their enticing yet deadly sonic web, Vanishing kids take an unexpected turn into the left field ‘without a sun’, a track that echoes Depeche Mode. Built around a huge beat, it offers up a deliriously sublime chorus that soars heavenward on the back of a dense, swirling riff that threatens to overwhelm the senses. The EP concludes with the stunning ‘magenta blue’, a sublime piece of music that brings tears to the eye as its carefully layered vocal harmonies and shimmering synth backdrop give way to tough, metallic guitars and dark, Gilmour-esque lead work. It’s hard to imagine a finer way to conclude the record and it leaves you eager for the band’s forthcoming full-length album.  

Trying to decide what to listen to from a seemingly overflowing inbox packed full of music is not an easy task and I fear I’ve missed out on more amazing music than I will ever know. Nonetheless, when you do discover a gem like this beautiful EP from Vanishing kids, it restores one’s faith in the essential artistry of music. Dense, hypnotic, dreamily dark and yet unutterably beautiful, ‘Untitled’ is a blissed out voyage you’ll want to take again and again. 9      

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