Alex Vans Impresses with Debut, “Buy American: Vol. 1”
The new EP from Alex Vans’ Bad Business opens with a bang. Swampy southern guitar riffs and a distant harmonica lay the foundation for Vans’ distinctive, howling vocals. Throw in a driving beat and a catchy chorus, and you’ll be hard pressed not to dance along as he sings “believe in the rapture, believe in the raptor, baby.” Yes. Raptor. Because the first song on the five-track EP, buy American Vol. 1, is entitled “Velocirapture”. There is clearly an element of humor in this release – a breath of fresh air in an industry that often takes itself a bit too seriously.
In the three years since he released his solo album, DJ Booth, principal songwriter Alex Vans has grown immensely as an artist. Together with his new band (Bad Business), he has crafted an original, confident sound. This is one of those rare albums that doesn’t have a weak link – every track rings true. “Break My Spell”, is unpredictable. There is something almost mystical in the unconventional chord progression, and the chimes that echo through the quieter sections. In “Modern Mischief”, the boys really pull out all the stops. It’s the sort of song that inspires crowdsurfing.
“The Weekend” takes the tempo back a bit, grooving along with a strong bass line and some truly impressive guitar solos. This is a group of musicians who play together all the time – you can’t fake that level of precision. Belying its name, “Bored to Death” is perhaps the strongest and most interesting track on the EP. A perfect closing number, the band goes crazy at the end. THIS is rock.
Calling to mind indie rockers like Queens of the Stone Age and Band of Skulls, Alex Vans’ Bad Business has some seriously good music up their sleeves. It will be fun to see where they go with it.