Vundabar Share Infectious “Chop” via Stereogum
Gawk LP due out July 24th via the band’s own Gawk Records
On tour now!
In the bleak sonic landscape that has become associated with the Boston underground,Vundabar are an anomaly. Rather than wallow in minor chord fury and noise soaked post-punk, the young Boston trio have opted for something brighter and catchier, using their penchant for complex melodies and soaring harmonies to create an all shimmering beast of bizarre pop splendor. The band are excited to share “Chop,” the first single from their upcoming sophomore album Gawk. Due out via the band’s own Gawk Records on July 24th, “Chop,” the album’s opening track, sets the tone for the album, oozing with shifting noise pop structures, touches of twisted surf rock, math pop, and indie-centric dance punk, Vundabar’s sound is expansive, shuffling with their feet on the ground while their heads floating above the clouds. Brandon Hagen’s dynamic croon bounces between a casual vibrato and soulful falsetto as the band’s interlocked melodies create the perfect accompaniment. It’s pop bliss for the summer sun, a glowing soundtrack to the year’s most celebrated months.
Stereogum premiered “Chop,” noting the band’s unique take on the Boston underground’s sound and their ability for crafting pure pop out of complexity and intricate song structures:
“Enter Vundabar, an excellent example of the way in which all of the melodic intricacies picked up and defined as the “Boston sound” can easily be repurposed and reordered into pop songs with broader appeal. “Chop” has all of the same yanking arrangements and spitfire drum beats as some of Vundabar’s peers, but their vocal performance and lyrical prose sound untethered to the favored aesthetic of their immediate surroundings”
05/20 – Fort Worth, TX @ 1919 Hemphill
05/21 – Denton, TX @ Mold Spores w/ Chipper Jones
05/22 – Houston, TX @ The Shop
05/23 – Austin, TX @ Swan Dive
05/24 – Dallas, TX @ Crown and Harp
05/25 – Albuquerque, NM
05/27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Warehouse
05/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Lexington
05/29 – San Francisco, CA @ Neck of the Woods
05/30 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ KCPR Cookout
05/31 – Davis, CA @ UC Davis
06/01 – Dublin, CA
06/02 – Corona CA @ Sinbad Hookah
06/03 – Covina CA @ TheUp&Up Art Space
06/04 – Orange County, CA
06/07 – Boulder, CO @ Calvet Cave
06/09 – Omaha, NB @ Lucy’s Pub
06/10 – Madison, WI @ Shone Den
06/11 – Chicago, IL @ Hobo Spaceship
06/12 – Ann Arbor, MI
06/13 – Toledo, OH
06/14 – Columbus, OH
06/19 – Boston, MA @ The Womb w/ Lady Bones, Snoozer & Sneeze
Vundabar was born out of the alienation that goes along with the high school years.Brandon Hagen (20) was a lanky weirdo, ill equipped for Scituate High School’s long standing history of sports, trucks, and drinking. His recreational activities included dodging rocks thrown by groups of future frat bro’s and in turn further egging them on by relaying spray painted messages in their driveways. Drew McDonald (20) was an equally lanky glasses-wearing loner, having moved three times throughout his youth to finally end up living next door to Brandon. This chance occurrence made Hagen and McDonald into an unlikely pair.
Taking solace in music and absurdist humor, they would watch stand-up specials for hours, share albums with one another, and hash out the songs which would become Vundabar’s first full length, ‘Antics‘, which they recorded in Drew’s room with two microphones and garageband. Brandon projected his feelings of resentment, humor, and cynicism into his songs. There is an element of jest and aggression in Vundabar’s music which roots itself in the experiences of condemnation and alienation Hagen experienced throughout high school.
After a self release, incessant touring, and having Zackery Abramo (21) join to play bass, they received an offer from a French booking agency to tour throughout Europe. In the summer and fall of 2014 they toured Europe for three months, with a month long US tour wedged in the middle. Despite the excitement that came along with these opportunities, each member’s home life was becoming more and more unstable throughout these tours. Between divorces, foreclosures, financial troubles and debilitating mental health problems, the band had become a source of stability in a seemingly all at once unstable world. After these tours ended the three went into Mystic Valley Analog Recording Studio to record a follow up to ‘Antics‘.
The album that resulted, ‘Gawk‘, is a dynamic collection of ten songs. It blends pop sensibilities, loud quiet loud dynamics, and jarring energy. There are themes of alienation, identity, perception, detachment and a quiet bitterness blended with humor threading its way through the album. It is a culmination of last two years of their lives.