Vanity Riots are here to rock our socks off with their brand of glam and classic hard rock, wrapped up in a little bit of mosh-inducing relentlessness of hardcore........apparently they call this 'Glamcore'. The Aussie four piece have been writing, recording and playing live for a year and feel they're ready for an assault on a larger audience with this, their debut EP.
From the beginning, you can tell that their own description of Glamcore is not really a word that would describe them - when you put the word 'Hardcore' anywhere near your description, you surely need to have that angst, anger and slight rage that makes it such? Ultimately, you'll hear this and think of the obvious bands such as The Pretty Reckless, The Dirty Youth and the leading lights of Paramore. Now, there's nothing wrong with that but it's the equivalent of Garbage saying their new album is mosh-inducing and rabid. The odd low key guitar sound or short blast of anger doesn't make it hardcore, I'm afraid.
First track, 'A Lot To Learn', has a great riff and you think that they're going to be exactly what you were expecting with good lyrics, great sound and a touch of anger to make them stand out, but second track 'Drama' needs a kick up the arse to propel it - it's an average song with low key hints at Maiden galloping along, before it ultimately settles for just being an okay song. Less plodding and more of the good guitar work would benefit all. Following that up, they give us 'Make Your Bed', again it's the guitar work that interests rather than the song. This is Paramore-esque and they'll probably hate that comparison but you have to be honest as to what exactly you're trying to do and tagging a bit of Black Sabbath riffage on the end of a song doesn't disguise the facts. 'These Notes' slows the pace into more melodic ballad territory and it's one of the better tracks on here, think epic sweeping US chart rock. Final track 'Prettiest Fighter' is a more basic glam track and is probably more of what suits them, the sound is more fluent and lead singer Monica Strut sounds more comfortable delivering a less attack style vocal.
There is potential here but dropping the Glamcore tag could be the making of them; they do female delivered college rock well plus they have a hint of '80s glam about them and it's certainly better than when they do hardcore, mosh-inducing relentlessness. In fact, if anyone thinks that this is mosh-inducing, then there really is no hope.