Violet Bones - Decline of Vaudeville

Violet Bones – Decline of Vaudeville (The Animal Farm)

Release Date: 26th November

I bet Violet Bones are great live. I’ve never seen them play but I get the feeling that they have to be fantastic on stage. I’m basing this theory purely on the fact that they play songs that aren’t necessarily predictable but, on first listen, you can tell what’s coming next and that usually makes a crowd feel comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that these are bad songs and they are certainly well performed, it’s just that it feels like I’m listening to Honeycrack or Three Colours Red or the Pigeon Detectives.....again.

‘Chemicals’ is a cheeky, cockney bounce-a-long with lots of urgency and choppy riffs while ‘Villains’ is some sort of anthem for being beaten up in a pub brawl – although it ends up sounding like the story your mate tells when he got mugged by two 12 year-olds and turns it in to a gang of angry Chelsea fans to save face. Rik, Oz, Si and Stu don’t feel the need for full names and I suspect this makes them feel like they are a little bit punk but the trouble is the music is too polished and the lyrics try too hard. For example, on ‘I Feel The Need’ the line “My Boss he don’t like me, he finds my look offensive, these clothes are dirty, who cares? They’re not expensive” just sounds like someone trying to be rebellious rather than a dyed in the wool rebel.

‘Now Or Never’ sounds like a yobby, gobby rant to getting leathered that the “College” band in Hollyoaks might get on to Grimmy’s show with and ‘It’s Not What You Said’ is a 2 minute rant that could be the musical equivalent of the “you’re not my muvva” argument in Eastenders. Credit where it’s due though, ‘Aristotle, Albion and Lerne’ has a great, triumphant positivity about it and is, lyrically, a refreshing departure from the rest of the album as the band take on broken Britain and pointless wars in foreign lands. Album close, ‘Most Times’, is a mellow, melancholy Mumford-esque tune that never really goes anywhere and leaves the album on a bit of a flat note after the energy and enthusiasm of the previous 10 songs. Essentially, I don’t dislike ‘Decline of Vaudeville’ as such, I just don’t know when I’d ever listen to it and I don’t think I know anyone else who would want to.

More information:

Live Dates:
1st December – The Shed, Leicester
21st December – The White Horse, Sudbury
22nd December – Floods Tavern, St Ives