Vagrants, The - The Vagrants

Self-titled debut ep from 'masters of the middle' The Vagrants.


In horticulture they use botanical names to avoid such confusion. You know, I call them farmer's friends, you call them cobbler's pegs and someone else calls them pitchforks. Whilst talking about the same thing, geographically, we sometimes use different names. If we all used the botanical name, Bidens pilosa, no one would be confused.


A similar system is sometimes necessary for bands. My recollection of The Vagrants was that of a 60s garage band but more recently a punk/hardcore act from the US. I was wrong on both counts.


The Vagrants from Melbourne and have recently put out their self-titled debut, a six track enhanced cd through blindbeatroot music. The enhancement is that all the audio tracks have the accompanying video. Great idea, but my computer didn't want a bar of it!


The Vagrants press release lists some impressive comparisons: Ben Harper, The Black Crowes, Stray Cats, and even The Rolling Stones to name a few. Impressive. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the links.


While nicely produced by band members Steve Iorio and Jim Rintoul, who capture the group's undoubted instrumental abilities, it never really rises to any great heights. They're easy listening, maybe alt country but won't set the world on fire. Sounding as though they are best suited in a suburban pub or club bistro on a Friday and Saturday night it's the sort of thing maybe your mum and dad would get up and have a ‘boogie' to, telling you ‘they really rock, don't they' as you poke sedately at your bain-marie culinary delight


Front woman Renate Ludwig has a strong country inspired vocal and it sits well with the bands style no matter what mode of song is on offer. From the opening Wrong Side Of The Tracks, with its truck driving rhythm, the slightly fuzzed out Accelerated Kharma or the sweet sounding Alone that immediately reminds you of the classic Lennon penned, Dear Prudence, she is more than capable of fitting the bill.


Some tracks head off on a slight blues-rock tangent, with nothing too dirty mind you, but again there is not anything new that is going to grab you and make you sit up pay attention.


The release tends to highlight some good solid musicianship rather than song writing ability and The Vagrants appear to be content in their own musical environment, and there is nothing wrong with that.

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