Vampire Weekend

tiggerlion's picture
What's it called?: 
Modern Vampires of the City
What does it sound like?: 
Like many a noughtie band, VW emerged bright, sharp and full of beans in search of fun. They stood out from the crowd with their African beats and their love of punctuation. They were college boys who were so desperate to attract girls, they were willing to dance. Now, approaching thirty, they are on their third album. Modern Vampires of the City sounds like a mature band who appreciate space as much as noise, who judiciously deploy every note and beat. There are delicate subtleties in the details; heavenly choruses, neat guitar figures, ripples of percussion. The songs have plenty of air to breathe but are constructed with great care. Their natural verbosity is reined in and their exuberance is controlled. The result is a greater emotional depth and a broader range of style. The themes explored may be more serious but they still retain a sense of glee. These boys are in for the long haul. I'm looking forward to listening to them with my gandchildren when I'm in my sixties.
What does it all *mean*?: 
Young 'guitar' bands have a future, after all. Funnily enough, the drummer is a key 'driver' of this band, writing and producing, just like the drummer in Spoon. This is the era of the calm, sensible drummer and these bands are the better for it.
Goes well with …: 
It's a sociable album that mixes with wine & nibbles. A polished floor with plenty of room because you still will feel the urge to shuffle your feet. New shoes may be required. In the end, head-phones are necessary to fully appreciate its charms.
Might suit people who like …: 
to smile but don't mind being made to face their mortality (it does get serious). There is a song called Hannah Hunt which is light & frivolous at first glance but has a dark core. Perfect for Afterworders looking for a young, modern classic.


I am at tail end of a USA business trip and when record shopping last weekend this wasn't released.All of the reviews have been great. Loved the debut but was disappointed by Contra. Sounds like this one is fab.

I agree Contra doesn't cut it but the debut & this are well worth having, if only to compare & contrast. It isn't often you can witness a flower blooming in front of your very ears!

going to bother with this one after the disappointing Contra, but I might just give it a whirl now!

EDIT: ooh, I see the vinyl+CD is only £13.67 - tempting indeed.

Edit x 2: Bloody amazon, says £13.67, click on it and it changes to £17.99, WTF?


but I'm looking forward to your Robin Bar Stewards review.

Margaret Hodge agrees with me.

Pleasant surprise on Monday. Same heavyweight white vinyl, same stickered sleeve declaring 'independent record shop exclusive', same CD & large fold-out poster. In fact all their vinyl prices were cheaper than the local indies - Primal Scream £14.99 vs £18.99, for example. Girl in HMV said they were trying to do special deals with the distributors and that vinyl was soon getting its own department in the store!

Vinyl does seem to be coming down in price at the moment - my pre-ordered Public Service Broadcasting (with mp3s) went down from £16 to about £12 before release, and now the new Surfer Blood vinyl+CD is just under £13 (on amazon, at least). This is cheaper than many deluxe edition CDs. I suppose the more popular vinyl becomes the cheaper it can get - hurrah!

Or shell out for Burt's head-phones?

Actually, a turn-table needs all sorts of other stuff to make it work. At least the head-phones are a one-off for me. Are they any good?

Glad that you're now in your post-Spoon phase! Loved both the VW records to date - why's everyone down on Contra? - Cousins? Giving up the Gun? White Sky? and the rest of it. Can't wait to get this one.

I think it suffered in comparison with the debut, which was fresh & brimming with bright ideas. Contra seemed a bit tame. However, I suspect it fits neatly between the two. I think it's the kind of album that sounds better after several years!

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