Vices - Hotel Monsoon

Born 'n' bred in the musical hotspot that is Reading, the now-London-based group recently dropped their EP Hotel Monsoon with a resounding boom. Winning vital support slots with Band Of Skulls and Everything Everything across Europe and the USA, the indie five-piece stumbled upon their first big break when Jeff Saltzman (producer of The Killers' Hot Fuzz and ex-manager of Green Day) spotted their electric sound in a dingy LA club, offering to record their first record The Wind I Walk Into. It's like a fairytale.

Released Oct 2nd, 2012 via self-release / By Larry Day
Vices - Hotel Monsoon 'Dying Day' spurns standard indie music, opting for a daybreaking synths, warped guitar and shakily eccentric vocals, creating a mess that's unnerving, imposing and a bit weird. This is the sonic equivalent of a bad batch of cocaine. Jittery flashes of anxious drums envelop soulful, nightclub guitars and desperate – nay, frantic – vocals from the gullet of Sam Lea. 'Deep Rivers Run' scratches with talons of vibrato slides, and an element of psych-rock shuffles into the alt. indie with dreamy organs filling out the background, weaving an ethereal tapestry for the screeching six-strings to perch in front of.

Currently, their second full-length is in progress and Hotel Monsoon is merely a carrot to dangle in front of us donkeys, luring us deeper into the shadowy recesses of their music. The stopgap EP has wowed critics nationwide, barely satiating the thirst for more Vices. It's a crux, this addiction to the wonky, flawless indie. A vice, even...

Chaos-laden 'Human Being' adopts a smooth, Alt-J bass motif as a counterpoint to the crunching shards of whooping guitar. It's a seductive, schizophrenic sound – filled with moments of 'phwoar' sexiness and snarling, wrath-fuelled danger. And a saxophone. This unsettled musical personality which sees Lea almost rap is so rarely pulled off, but here Vices excel at being a monster. Eponymous track 'Hotel Monsoon' shimmers as a finalé, opening with focal bass and slide guitar. Followill-esque yelps litter the effort, and that oh-so-trendy saxophone pokes its head around the corner surreptitiously. There's a sort of Horrors-y soundscape unfolding, and the EP ends not with a bang, nor a whimper but a distracted tailing off. It would be irritating for any other band, but with the unexpected rollercoaster that is Vices, it's perfectly inkeeping with their style.

There's a horde of aural threads slipping in and out of each other on this five-track teaser, offering something for all the fans across the spectrum of indie, ensuring that no one leaves with a frown after listening. It's elegantly messy and ultimately, it's a shambolic tirade of stream-of-consciousness sound which lifts you off the ground and leads you into a heady hurricane of pure awe.