Nottingham trio Vertical Noise pack a heavy punch on their new EP ‘It’s Not What You Think’, with grungey riffs and basslines to get your head banging. It’s wild and weird, and there’s plenty there for fans of the heavier end of rock to get excited about.
The record features some of the band’s most distorted guitar sounds yet, in an effort to rail against “the mundane and predictable aspects of modern pop music” as they call them, but they’re also not afraid to show off a more melodic side in flashes across the five tracks.
Admittedly, ‘It’s Not What You Think’ kicks off in a pretty cringey way with ‘Club Music’, that starts with a snippet of EDM which is then cut off with a comedy record scratch. The less said about that the better. Despite that though, the song itself is solid. It’s fast-paced and feral, and although moaning about pop music is a well-trodden street, the stinging sarcasm in the lyrics and vocal delivery mean you can’t help but get on board with it.
The second track ‘Nice Stuff’ is probably the weakest on the record, in that it’s arguably the easiest to listen to. There’s none of the bite that you hear on the first song, and the lyrics are a little thin on the ground and repetitive. It just doesn’t quite fit in with everything else on the EP.
If that track was playing it safe, the next song ‘Carbon Copy’ is at the other end of the spectrum.. Whilst the chorus has got a bit more of a tune, the majority of the track features the guitarist beating up his instrument to get the most mental sounds possible out of it. I feel sorry for the poor thing, but it’s pretty impressive. By far the heaviest and most abrasive moment on the record.
‘Twatellite Navigation’ unsettles you with an eerie intro, and is then followed by a slightly confusing pause that goes on a bit too long, before cracking on with some fierce punkysounds. A track that would be welcome in any moshpit in the land.
‘It’s Not What You Think’ signs off with its standout track ‘Countless Video Interruptions’, a near-eight minute journey showing off all the strings to Vertical Noise’s bow, flitting in and out of warped grunge and easy-going balladry. The last thing you’d expect this record to end on is peaceful harmony, but the band pull it off seamlessly and show they’ve got a sensitive side under all the noise. A fine way to round off a solid showing, and well worth a listen.