Nancy Vandal have recently been plucked from obscurity after being relatively dormant bar two EPs that stretched across the last decade or so.
Chosen to appear on the 2014 Soundwave line up as well as an upcoming east coast tour in celebration of their 20th year anniversary, the Sydneysiders are back with a new album, Flogging a Dead Phoenix. The band’s first full length album since 1999’s I’ve Wasted My Life is a gluttony of rock n’ roll punk. Whilst these riffs have been used a thousand times before these guys blend the comically absurd with out and out energy that makes it fun despite its simple-to-insane approach. This is punk after all – garage style!
Accompanied by a humungous 92 page full colour edition of the band’s official zine, The Vandal’s Voice featuring more of the wit and crazy artwork the band is renowned for, albeit from a decade or more ago, Flogging a Dead Phoenix is a must have for the fans of the band from the 90s and for any punk aficionado into a little bit of Australiana mayhem.
And the band doesn’t mess around either, spitting out a record just under the ½ hour mark. It’s clear Nancy Vandal is here for a good time not a long time, with some tracks just over the one minute mark. Saying that the title track and ‘A Nurofren from My Eurofriend’ are straight up rollickers to kickstart the album. Yes, the vocals are dodgy, the riffs have that ‘been there done that’ feel, the brass section is bold but when mashed together we’re treated to an endearing album and an appetiser that these guys might be the surprise ‘not to be missed’ act on Soundwave 2014.
Back onto the album itself, ‘The Kid Stays Out of the Song’ rocks out with a ballsy chorus before unleashing the pure punk ‘Fingering Chart’. Frenzal Rhomb’s front man, Jay Whalley aka Jason ‘Jason’ Beers (one time member of the Vandal circa 1996) helped record the album and certainly there are Rhomb traits across some of the tracks, none more so than ‘Fingering Chart’. ‘Dumb It Down’ and ‘Piano Sketches’ continue the vendetta of sweeping hoodlum rock bringing the local pub gig to your own living room.
‘Nowt Bar a Good Time’ an off key cover version of ‘Nothing But a Good Time’ is the penultimate track before closing with the acoustic ‘We Fucked This City on Rock N Roll’, a bizarre lyrical tirade.
All in all a weird and wonderful walk down a memory lane of pub punk pandemonium. What Nancy Vandal lack musically they make up for it with creativity and over the top shenanigans.
1. Project E5000
2. Flogging a Dead Phoenix
3. A Nurofen from My Eurofriend
4. The Kid Stays Out of the Song
5. Fingering Chart
6. Hot Pants Nation
7. Dumb it Down
8. Still Got it
9. Piano Sketches
10. King Kong Bundy’s Ponzi Scheme
11. Desmond Manchild
12. We Don’t Want Your Fun
13. Nowt Bar a Good Time
14. We Fucked This City on Rock N Roll