The Van T’s have indeed come of age on their exhilarating and assured second EP.
Twin sisters Hannah (guitar, vocals) and Chloe Van Thompson (guitar, vocals), along with Joanne Forbes (bass) and Shaun Hood (drums), grabbed my attention last year with their impressive debut EP ‘Laguna Babe’. It was just the right mix of grunge and surf-rock to live up to their self-proclaimed description of “everything you ever wanted from a 90’s dream”.
2016 has already been another hectic year for The Van T’s with appearances at Wide Days and Stag & Dagger, a support slot with HAWK in London and two dates supporting Yuck. Hot on the heels of this activity, and the success of 2015, they are releasing their second EP ‘A Coming Of Age’.
Opening track ‘35mm’ is a snarling and swirling scuzz-fest with harmonies to die for. The surf sound may be toned down on this track, but the grunge is turned up to eleven. The song is about today’s youth and the tendency to focus more on capturing an event through the technology in their hands than actually living the moment. Having also caught them live for their recent Glasgow show, in celebration of the release of ‘Blood Orange’, I can happily confirm that the band command rapt attention. Most of the crowd were focussed entirely on dancing, rather than taking photos. Their infectious energy and captivating musical prowess, that is only too evident on their records, transfers perfectly to the stage.
‘Blood Orange’ itself is all rumbling drums and howling riffs – crashing waves of rock that the duel vocals of the sisters ride on. It’s yet another example of this band producing a heavy sound that is also ridiculously catchy and accessible.
‘No Man’s Money’ is bound to be a hit at all the festivals with its sunny sound and grooving middle eight. Both this and ‘Dandy’ have more than a hint of The Smiths under all that throbbing reverb. Here lies the addictive charm of The Van T’s – they deftly combine the surf sounds blaring from a jukebox with the heaviest grunge and throw in catchy indie pop hooks for good measure. They manage all this while still sounding fresh and invigorating.
The Van T’s are blossoming into an exceptional band and I eagerly await their next rite of passage – I hope it’s an album and a headline tour.
‘A Coming Of Age’ is due for release on 1st July via Bloc+Music.