A few years back now, I got thoroughly drunk from 9am at a house in Glebe that belonged to the mayor of somewhere or the owner of an island, or an art collector or something, I don’t remember, and headed down to Lameway Festival. I lost my rolling tobacco, my phone ran out of batteries, my wallet ran out of those little polymer rectangles which are exchanged for goods and services, and I had to sit through Chet Faker and Of Mice And Men.
Wanna out-hipster your mate who discovered Parquet Courts before you did? Listen to Indonesian post-hardcore outfit Vague.
The shining light of the festival was Cloud Nothings, whose moshpit gave me a safe violence through which to channel my dissatisfaction with Future Classic‘s dickery. Listening to Jakarta three piece Vague after a morning of trying to find a decent artist to write about and only finding mediocrity is giving me Lameway flashbacks, their piercing, unrelenting punk vibes cutting through everything in my inbox.
The band say that they’re inspired by the ‘romanticism of the mid-eighties’, and luckily aren’t talking about the post-glam New Romantics like Adam And The Ants or Duran Duran. Think Washington DC, think ripped shorts and tattooed calves, think early hardcore, but as with all reimaginings of a past scene, don’t think too hard. They’re thoroughly post-post-hardcore, as much inspired by Fugazi and Shellac as by midwest Emo that came after it and the broad, slow sweeping normative curve of post-911 guitar music.
Their latest track Inadequate is angst. No, it doesn’t sound like angst, this shit is angst, but in a very millenial fashion. The odd harmonic chord and studio sheen gives a modern brightness to the track, an accessible normality that has proved so excessively successful for bands like Parquet Courts, but like Courts and Nothings the track still ventures into dissonant cacophony enough to get the hardcore kids into it. Those tempo changes too – those are on point.
If you’re into noise, post-hardcore, Japandroids and black and white photography, keep an eye and an ear out for Vague’s upcoming full length due out later this year which Inadequate was taken off. These guys live just north-west of Port Headland, so expect to see them on some upcoming festival bills – perhaps even to spice up the next Lameway!
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