Social Clubs and Overdubs EP
According to Vectis 23’s website, they are a band "made up of the Elite members of other Island bands to form a super band that no Putty Man can withstand”. With this thoroughly arrogant approach to their talents, you would expect their début EP ‘Social Clubs and Overdubs’ to live up to their blatant self-promotion. On hitting ‘play’, however, my anticipation fell through the floor and was replaced by disappointment. The four-track EP begins with ‘Ultimate Guitar Vs MX Tabs (Showdown)’. I fail to see why the band would want the listener's initial encounter with them to be by way of a poorly tuned trumpet that seems capable of only three notes. To make matters worse, when the whole band kick in with their “monster” riff, those first three notes fall out of time, transforming what would otherwise be a tight performance into an unpleasant mess. The verse’s breakdown, to simplistic instrumentation, would work well were it not for the decision to include a saxophone section, which only serves to annoy my ears. Its incessant squeaking obscures the vocals whilst contributing nothing of obvious value. The song only starts to pick up when the ska chords are played under the original three-note intro, now played by both trumpet and sax (and I’ll be fucked if I can get those damn notes out of my head now). However, it doesn’t stay that way for long, as the chorus turns up and brings with it the lyrics, "MX Tabs, a load of shit, I think the inventor should be hit” which, quite honestly, are dreadful. And things just get worse. ‘Crazy Kazoo Hating Mexican’ has a stronger intro and makes deceptive moves to be a better track; almost pulling some respect for the band back into being. Unfortunately the track does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s about a Mexican. Who hates kazoos. A totally failed attempt at comedy (unless of course you happen to know any hilarious, kazoo-hating Mexicans. No, nor me). The catchy horns riff was a brilliant opener but after the 89th (or whatever) repeat it begins to bore. Following another glimmer of hope in the form of a promising breakdown, comes a very weak guitar solo which, I’m afraid, pretty much destroyed any suggestion of my affection for Vectis 23. ‘Bouffant’ has some good riffs and a strong, musical backing to prop up the shit lyrics. But after an excessively long intro and a clumsy breakdown, it seems to be much of the same. The horn section kicks into life like your nan, waking up from her television coma when you’d just rather she slept, and just as you thought the aural slaughter was over, the appalling experience drags on. And on. And on. Vectis 23’s final offering ‘Emails from She-males’ has a formidable guitar element and boasts the best structure of all the four songs, but is still more of the same tripe held by the rest of the EP. The best part of ‘Social Clubs And Overdubs’ is the fact that it’s only 10 minutes long. Vectis 23 are pretentious, bland, repetitive, not a hundredth as amusing as they’d have you believe and obviously under-rehearsed. What’s more, they don’t seem to realise they’re not Embassy Row. Oops.