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Sunday, October 14, 2018

VPN-Small Wire (1998)

Sleeve design by Tonya Hudson & Austin Hughes; Photography by Austin Hughes
Literally ones (perhaps even twos) of people have been asking me what's up with the blog. I've been back in school, so have had very little time for posting. Figured I'd better give the people what they want though.

I have been meaning to alert the masses to this band for a while.
As far as I can tell, VPN (or "Very Pleasant Neighbor") released just two albums-this being the first.
This is one of those groups that seemed to emerge from the ether fully formed: no timidity, no areas requiring growth, no derivitiveness, no's all toned and honed.
The writing reminds me a bit of "She Said She Said" era John Lennon--taking all sorts of melodic risks-veering off at unexpected angles before resolving into something surprisingly lean and accessible (See tracks like "Patty Hearst", "Skywriting", and "Submarine").
Eleanor (Has Four Arms)--which includes lyrics like:
"Eleanor, you've traded your two legs;
Eleanor, your two legs for two arms"
and "She Has A Leak" showcase the band's knack for dark surrealist/ psychedelic scene-setting. There's always something...a looming threat...just below the surface, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat. A big ol' toothy barracuda smile coming up to snip-snip your toe-tips. Well played, VPN- very well played.

Link to the album on Spotify:

Band photo by Elain Ahn


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