Hip to be square
Silverlake’s Vanaprasta have a reputation in LA as a great band to see live, so capturing their ‘essence’ on debut record Healthy Geometry could have been a tricky job to take on.
Luckily for them, producer Dave Schiffman (The Mars Volta, Nine Inch Nails) has done them proud. By taking a step back he has let the music do the talking, keeping a nice ‘live’ feel to the record. It’s something a more egotistical knob twiddler could have smothered in fancy effects and killed stone dead.
Title tack Healthy Geometry features guitar licks cascading over the edges of the choruses like rain from a leaky drainpipe. In fact much of the record has a tidal, water like quality ebbing and flowing from your speakers in waves of quiet and loud.
Album opener nine equals nine is a broody atmospheric number that while more robotic in feel than the rest of the record sets the mood perfectly for what is to come. At times euphoric and uplifting and at other times jagged and scowling, sometimes it sounds like they are not sure whether to kiss you or hit you, and sometimes it feels like they are doing both.
I was trying to think who they sounded like? It’s not easy to put your finger on.
If you had a music blender and added a healthy dash of Radiohead (The Bend’s period ), a tablespoon of de-popped extract of The Killers, Kings of Leon (with annoying self importance removed) throw in some early Verve, it would sound nothing like Vanaprasta, but it might give you a clue of what to expect on Healthy Geometry.
Steven Wilkin’s vocals, (a strange mixture of Lenny Kravitz and Caleb Followill from Kings of Leon) compliment a band more interested in creating than re-creating, and guitarists Collin Desha and Cameron Dmytryk‘s work expands the aural spectrum and interest, particularly on songs such as Supernumery and G-.
It’s not all perfect and it takes a few listens to grab, but like the best records weaves into your sub-conscience until that magical moment when your brain makes sense of it all.
Had Pink Floyd been around now they would probably never get the chance to do a second or third record. Let’s hope Vanaprasta will expand in every direction and be allowed to progress from what is a great debut.
So in summary, if you are going to illegally download a new record this week, make it the Coldplay one and buy this.