VV Torso, LPVV (Jurassic Pop)
VV Torso, a four-piece hailing from Indianapolis, self-describe as a combination of post-punk, no-wave and (in one of those ‘damnit, why didn’t I think of that first’ moments) “regret-hop”. I first stumbled upon the band courtesy of the mighty Post-Trash, who premiered their track, “Boy”, back in August. That track served as both a debut and an appetizer for the band’s debut album, LPVV, released in October on the Cleveland-based Jurassic Pop label (home of past faves like TV Ghost).
Their label bio states, in part, that the band was originally conceived as a performance compliment to vocalist Natty Morrison’s poetry (Morrison is also a professional creative writer so, no pressure on, like, the words here or, um…). On LPVV, Morrison’s spoken word/bark is pushed, stretched and provoked by his bandmates’ (Brent Smith, Gareth Ney and Tom Lageveen) propulsive, tightly-wound post-punk (think early Gang of Four and Killing Joke) into a 10-song set that’s simultaneously in your face and nonchalant. Morrison’s tone is reminiscent of Protomartyr’s Joe Casey, and with his arch – sometimes baleful – poesies (closing track, “Giant”, includes lines like “he’s going to the war/with a violin as a weapon” and “he’s in an art museum…/he’s in a grass-roots rebellion against a free market economy”), he is become a kind of heartland™ John Cooper Clarke. Smith’s guitar is a frequent scene-stealer, a dizzying combination of stabbed stutter, freewheeling improv and restrained melody that often morphs into a third member of the rhythm section. It’s an exciting release, placing the band in line with fellow midwestern travelers like Pere Ubu.
Grab a copy of LPVV here, and check out all things ‘Torso’ on the band’s fbook page. Album cut, “Blood”, also appears on the new Post-Trash comp, proceeds from which will benefit the Maria Fund for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Why not both?
Highlights include: “Success”; “Object”; “Wish Machine”; “Giant”; “Taper”.