Fireworks

Vamps - 'Beast' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     October 25, 2010    
 
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Vamps are for anyone who likes modern pop rock with a few left turns.

Not too many Japanese rock bands find their way into these pages but Vamps, with their sophomore album, buck this trend. Their name taps into, deliberately or not, the vampire fixation that is omnipresent in youth culture at the moment and it is to this audience they will appeal. This is modern pop rock with art school pretensions, dark yet bouncy guitars and a vibrancy that will draw the manga reading and computer game playing generation.

There are a surprising number of styles on the record. ‘Angel Trip’ sounds like Manic Street Preachers singing a Mc Fly song! ‘The Past’ has a spiky Cure edge and the big power ballad of ‘Piano Duet’, sung in Japanese, comes across like Tokyo Hotel in its teen intensity. Throw in the jazzy ‘Rumble’, the Glitter band meets T Rex glam of ‘Revolution’, the ambient percussive ‘Samsara’, the eastern vibes of ‘My First Last’ and euphoric modern rock of ‘Get Up’ and ‘Devil Side’ and you can’t accuse this band of being short of ideas. ‘Memories’, again sung in Japanese, should be a big hit in their homeland and even sounds good to me, whose understanding of the Japanese language is confined to a sushi menu.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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There are some sturdy melodies throughout but it’s hard for many of them to lodge in your brain as it’s difficult on some of the English sung tunes to pick out what they’re saying. It’s not that it’s gratingly accented as some European metal can be guilty of, but somehow it’s just not that clear despite L’Arc-en-Ciel’s decent voice and a good production sound. The jaunty choruses make you want to sing along but you find yourself reduced to going, “Na, na, na, na, na”. Already with a sizable profile at home Vamps are for anyone who likes modern pop rock with a few left turns.

Duncan Jamieson

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