Review

The Vanilla Colts craft textured grooves in their debut album, Villains

I first came across The Vanilla Colts when I was judging the raucous final of Unwired: Battle of the Bands in Cape Town last year. They rang in second and I’ve been keeping a close eye on them since.

The Stellies-based band have also opened for the likes of Jack Parow, The Kiffness and PHfat – the latter of whom has been quoted saying “These boys can fucking sing.” So there you go.

Theirs is a rhythm-based sound, playful and almost wholly unique. Dropping truths left, right and centre through visceral, narrative lyricism they channel ambitious textures and indie-funk rhythms to keep things moving.

Vocals are traded off between Matthew Hill, Van Vyk Venter and Philip Jordaan. The result is a perenially easy movement between rapped lyrics and rolling, carol-singer-esque honey-warm vocals. “FDC” is driven by stuttering percussion and a jangling beat, “You” is a love song awash in delightful pop-culture references – while “Skulpies” is a ballad channeling a grating unpredictability, balmed by a lazy trumpet line.

Indie groove is rampant in “Blue” – “Boston” is brooding and brittle, driven into something more only by the organic percussive beat – and just to add a little edge, “Wys My” slides in as the sole Afrikaans track on the album.

Keep an eye on these boys – they have a whole new handle in the indie genre.