Rad Releases 22 – Vandalism Begins At Home
Our annual end-of-year feature is finally here, we spend the final two weeks of the year discussing the music that made 2022 special. Our special Rad Releases feature is now 12 years old and we love sharing the site with musicians, labels, and promoters as we discuss their year in music. We take a personal look back on familiar names’ most loved releases of the past 12 months. It’s a time we enjoy and look forward to, through the contributions we get to find new music discoveries, and releases we may have missed throughout the year.
At the tail end of last year we were first introduced to one incredibly hard-working label, since then we’ve witnessed Vandalism Begins At Home promote, release and host this immense range of records and events throughout the year. Home to some of our favourite releases of 2022 without a doubt. This is a label worth supporting, the work they are doing for their local scene and the support of musicians and their records, VBAH are forging the way. We are delighted to chat to Ben of VBAH to find out more about the label’s year in music.
AFGHAN WHIGS – HOW DO YOU BURN?
I didn’t think it was possible to make an album even better than their last LP, ‘In Spades’, but yet here we are. Afghan Whigs 9th album has “classic” stamped all over. It’s such a sublimely crafted work of art, which reveals itself more and more with every listen. The best rock record of 2022.
SEAN GRANT & THE WOLFGANG – 333
One of our own releases and the first album we’ve released with the band. We were all big fans of their previous work and when the opportunity came to work with the band having heard the new material, we just couldn’t say no. ‘333’ is such a powerful, anthemic album with incredible layers of guitar and synth. It’s a full on journey, an epic one at that.
YARD ACT – THE OVERLOAD
What is there left to be said about this band? Such an incredible journey and a vital band for our times. John Cooper Clark witticism coupled with the sounds of The Fall, and to my ear, Happy Mondays. Post-punk at its most poignant and entertaining. Can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.
SOURDOUGH – OUTLET EP
Another one of ours, from the first band we signed. An incredible politically charged noise-rock album. Jacob Kyte is one of the finest lyricists around and his words deserve investigation. This is one powerful EP loaded with bangers from start to finish!
LUNA ROSA – BRUTAL NATURE EP
It took the length of a global pandemic for this record to finally see the light of day, but it did not disappoint. Another band with an incredible lyricist and front-man in Rory McDade; Luna Rosa create punk-rock poetry, alongside astronomical sounds which soar into orbit. And of course you can find it on VB@H Records!
- The best show you have hosted this year?
We put on more gigs this year than ever before, at our spiritual home The Castle in Luton, and as part of 2 tours – The Leave The Capital Tour, and the ‘333’ Tour. Both of which saw great attendances, with brilliant crowds getting involved. Which was incredible to see after 2 years with little to no live music. It’s been a pleasure to have provided a stage for so many superb bands this year and we’ve already got next year in motion – so keep an eye on our socials and come say hello at a show.
Picking one standout gig is really difficult, but in terms of emotion, the Luton leg of the Leave The Capital Tour really sticks out. 4 bands: Luna Rosa, Sean Grant & The Wolfgang, JW Paris and Seven Sentinels, of which we were also selling a split vinyl. After so long with live music in the wilderness during the pandemic, to have organised a sell out gig, along with our friends Blaggers Records and blender, was a moment I’ll never forget. And every band absolutely smashed it!
- Has there been any record that’s got you through this year?
It’s incredible how music has a habit of appearing just at the right time. With a run of personal misfortune towards the end of this year, one of my favourite artists of all time, James Mudriczki formerly of Puressence, returned with his new band Nihilists and their single, ‘I Am The White Stripes’. It was the voice and comfort blanket I needed just at the right time. Music is so powerful.
- Best discovery this year?
Has to be Opus Kink. I saw them live at Beford Esquires having never heard anything by them before. They were so good I went to see them again the same weel. I’ve also got tickets for them in February and cannot wait. Their debut EP, ‘Til The Stream Runs Dry’ is amazing. I don’t think there is anyone else quite like them.
- Label Highlight of 2022
We’ve had 14 releases this year, so it’s been a busy one. We’re really proud of everything we’ve put out and pride ourselves in providing support to bands who for whatever reason aren’t getting the attention they deserve. It’s a process, and you have to graft for it, but that’s what we do, we graft and fight for the bands and their music. Hopefully they’ll reach the levels they deserve.
- Artist/Band to watch for 2023
Pigeonhole have really grabbed me. Their last single was a bonkers mix of psychobilly and post-punk, and it’s glorious. ‘Intimata Frittata’ – make sure you look it up. And more please!
There’s also so much talent breaking out from our neck of the woods – TMCF, Ramona Marx, OWES, Gaylips, Peachstone and Coda Rushing, to name but a few. There’s definitely something special building in these parts.
- Label Plans for the New Year
We’ve 3 bands currently in the studio working on their best material to date, while 2 others are demoing what will be their future releases – so another busy year awaits, but that’s just how we like it. We’ll look to build on last year and go again – more releases, more gigs and tours. It’s what we live for.
Thank you so much! We are looking forward to discovering more artists via you for 2023.