Vlack

Reviews

Mental Diaspora 12″

VLACK plays upbeat chords with exhausted, morose, downbeat vocals. Clashing discordant guitar riff peaks surprise and bend through predictable rhythms. Harrowing vocals such as from the CULT, the END (Boston) and the bass tones clang under lost guitar reverberation. VLACK is from Spain, however songs are sung and howled in English. Parts blackened steaming cauldron and HOT WATER MUSIC optimism, flowing like ghosts over a haunting goth melancholy tempo. This is generally unsettling. It is delivered with basic indie rock post-hardcore compositions, but the dismal glimmers of death rock and doom tempo make it ultimately depressing. These are sad and sinister sonnets from only two musicians. VLACK sounds in mourning and showcase that they are completely fine with that. Six tracks of gasping poetic mathematical neo death rock with hardcore indignation coursing its veins. “Abandon to the Fire,” an instrumental, might be my favorite, acting as a nice intermission from the anguish. I assure you, this is not as depressing on the surface as I make it sound, but the almost hidden pain is what I find most impressive about the recording.

Wake Up / Worm 7″

Strangely infectious and undeniably powerful platter on my turntable right now. Massive guitar-driven stomps with a hardcore bent—I’m thinking early ’00s not-quite-commercial not-quite-kickboxing-bro-core, maybe even a touch of emo. “Worm” is the dark brooder, while “Wake Up” hits hard and keeps hitting. For scope of appeal, VLACK lands somewhere between MODERN LIFE IS WAR and UNSANE, and carves out their own sound  and approach in the process. Criminally small pressing of just over 111 because…the internet.

The Way of the Cross CD

This one is hard to nail down. VLACK are big and “rock” sounding, but there’s a dark vibe that reminds me of under the radar monsters like ANGST or MY DAD IS DEAD—even while they are playing what is basically ’80s college alt-rock. I spent the entire disc trying to figure out how to categorize it, and that says a lot on its own, right?