Mattie Vant and co have certainly been busy since the last time I covered them not two months ago, dropping their debut album DUMB BLOOD, doing interviews, playing Roundhouse Rising Festival and gearing up for a 20-date headline tour starting on the 23rd of February spanning the UK, Europe and the USA.
VANT and what they represent are highly significant both for rock and wider culture generally. They appear as punk’s answer to the new wave of indie pop/rock bands such as Blossoms, Sundara Karma, Circa Waves (etc), gracing our airwaves with their fun but often frivolous lyrics. On the verge of breaking big VANT incorporate the modern indie-rock sound, blending it with garage rock and punk influences. They inject a much-needed sincerity and a political awareness into the mainstream British music scene as they become increasingly popular with every song stream, album sale or Huw Stephens interview.
DUMB BLOOD is as energetic, snappy and passionate as expected. Many of the singles that made up summer playlists now take on new meaning as the dark cloud of contemporary world politics grows ever larger. In light of the recent attempted migrant ban, the line “we need peace and love all you motherfuckers” could not seem more relevant. The new tracks don’t disappoint either: the raw, garage-rock riffs and Mattie’s frustrated screams decrying the millennial generation on LAMPOON will get even the most timid crowd moving. Not that will be a problem, pits were opening up during the first song of their short 2000 Trees set so I’m sure the Thekla gig will be a sweaty one. The ballads on the album are also fantastic; juxtaposing dark subject matter with a relaxed acoustic backing track, the softly sung lyrics on I DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD and HEADED FOR THE SUN should create a poignant, lighter waving moment or two. VANT will definitely rock the boat at Thekla on the 8th March.