‘Vexed’ the début EP from Belfast based girl group Vanilla Gloom sees the young trio wearing their grunge and alternative ’90s influences on their sleeves with some aplomb; with Pixies, L7, and Sonic Youth permeating its three tracks.
Opening track Wolves begins with a Kim Deal-esque cho cho bassline, quickly joined by a lead guitar line which drips ‘Bossanova’ era Pixies. Megan O’Kane’s vocal is, as the EP’s title would suggest, vexed. Her downbeat speak-sing patter suits the song perfectly embodying the disaffected and socially awkward lyrics.
There’s a Never Say Never-esque grove to the intro and verses of Lemons and Wine which is the EP’s standout moment. Shannon O’Neill takes lead on this track and is as effective as her bandmate O’Kane, even delivering the knockout line of the EP “There is no us/There is no us.” Final track Vultures continues the formula of quiet-loud, verse, chorus and doesn’t quite have the impact of the previous tracks, though the harmonies, provided by O’Neill and Kane, are impressive.
Vanilla Gloom definitely have something about them, despite the obvious influences there isn’t a hint of inauthenticity about their songwriting and performance and if they can step beyond these influences they have the potential to be the best all-girl group Ireland has produced