VEXX, “Do What You Want To” (M’Lady’s Records (US): Upset! The Rhythm (EUR/UK))
Olympia’s VEXX made an immediate impact on ears/minds/souls in 2014 with their debut, self-titled EP. Then followed last year’s equally fantastic, if more nuanced, “Give and Take” 7”, which saw the band stretch their scorched earth punk/hc with touches of the serious blues and r&b riffage hinted at on debut tracks like “Strength” and “Ocean Shores”.
Now, VEXX returns with “Do What You Want To” – the first taste of new EP/mini-LP “The Wild Hunt”. It’s a groovy amalgam of punk/blues crunch and 70s power-pop strut, with a seriously killer Chuck Berry riff and a rhythmic shimmy evoking visions of spandex jumpsuits and the sounds of The Sex Pistols to Sweet to the Runaways.
If your issue with power-pop is its tendency towards a more mawkish (and male-driven) take on romance/‘getting some’, fear not gentle reader. For while singer Maryjane Dunphe is enticed by the person who’s caught her eye, they receive the titular line to do as they wish – no falsetto plea to ‘go all the way’, here, as the track begins to unravel before ending abruptly with a shriek. All killer; no filler.
“The Wild Hunt” is due in October as a joint release of two excellent labels: M’Lady’s Records out of Portland, OR and the UK’s Upset! the Rhythm – and is available for pre-order now via either/or. Do what you wanna, &etc. While you’re doing that, you can check out more about VEXX here.