Anticipation is often dangerous when reviewing a release, especially when based on a single live performance. This applies to Hull’s Vulgarians, who are just about to release their latest EP, Almost Instinct, Almost True. But after a startling introduction all reservations are removed, thanks to the snarls and crashes that form ‘Of Humdrum Consumption’, the EPs furious opener. It’s the perfect intro to the three track, sonic DIY, rock journey you’re about to embark on.
Taking its name from a poem by fellow Hull great, Philip Larkin, Almost Instinct, Almost True pulls no punches with its musical and lyrical content. Strangely for a sound which seems pretty complex there is a level of simplicity within – somehow, despite the angular riffs and deep complex basslines all piling on top of each other, this is an incredibly accessible record. It’s technical yet still manages a few nods towards its shoegaze influences.
These recordings show an exciting development and a small change in where they are heading musically. Verses are, at times, sparse with choruses that build with spine tingling intensity, which then breaks down into a sonic fuzz, ready to build again.
Lyrically, Almost Instinct… uses a combination of dark dry humour and references full of the mundanities of life – this is an EP that makes you think and makes you laugh. These observations are astute, but touched by bitterness, wonderfully contrasting with the complex backing.
This is an EP which teases us with the potential possessed by this Hull four piece. The question is how do they develop from here? We’re looking forward to finding out.
Almost Instinct, Almost True is out on Friday, May 5th.
Catch Vulgarians live throughout May. See dates below.
10/05 – Headrow House, Leeds
11/05 – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
12/05 – Picture House, Sheffield
13/05 – The Priory, Glasgow
16/05 – Full Moon Club, Cardiff
18/05 – 20th – The Great Escape, Brighton
22/05 – Crofter’s Rights, Bristol
23/05 – Old Blue Last, London
36/05 – The Polar Bear, Hull
27/05 – Rock City Basement, Nottingham