Vertical Noise are known as a power trio. A simple layout of vocals, guitar, bass and drums. Sometimes, music is best kept simple and this band certainly showcase the simplicity in their line up. Saying that, they take influences from bands such as Muse, Blood Red Shoes and I can really hear the rawness of The Sex Pistols & Queens of the Stone Age in their music too.
“Club Music” begins the EP with a drum and bass beat that makes you believe that the song is going to be like, well, club music. This only lasts around 4 seconds before entering the actual song. It’s heavy and a big track. With different sections sealing the song together, it’s noisy and very punk. They rebel against the mainstream system with lyrics such as “I don’t like club music, I think it’s a waste of time.” It’s very opinionated, making it political in a way that people could disagree, making you like the song more because of how it’s so diverse.
The next track features comical behaviour with lyrics such as “you’re batshit crazy in your Howard Hughes dressing gown.” “Nice Stuff” has a very careless nature. The imperfect vocals make the song push that little bit more with what sounds like a teenager having a bad tantrum. With the vocals sounding similar to Johnny Rotten (The Sex Pistols), the 4 minute song doesn’t dynamically build as much as hoped. The continued momentum of the song gets a bit repetitive until the song cuts out to a dark, melodic bass line before the other instruments return. I personally really like the cleverness of the lyrics and how sometimes they don’t fit in time with the music, and it makes it uneasy to listen to but nevertheless, you still carry on listening to find out more.
With what sounds like Tom Morello having a guitar battle with Matt Bellamy, you’re automatically glued to hear how “Carbon Copy” turns out. I think the band have tried to sound similar to Rage Against the Machine and Beastie Boys in this track, which is always a plus. The lyrics are clever again, and sound like they’re sung by River Cuomo (Weezer). You could say that this band are taking so many influences and just mixing it together to get their sound. Never in my life would I have thought to have mixed vocals like River’s with in your face guitar madness like Tom Morello, but these things happen I guess and Vertical Noise have created this pure cool, original sound.
“Twatellite Navigation” (a rude version of Satellite?) is a bit forced in my eyes to begin with and the more than 5 second pause in the song is a bit too much and makes the song feel like it’s a completely different track. Maybe that’s what the band were wanting, which is cool, but as a personal preference, it feels a bit forced and wanting it to work well. The beginning is slow and features similar tones to Foo Fighters guitar tones in their track “World” (which is a very underrated track of their’s btw.) Anyway, towards the end of Twatellite Navigation, there’s another pause which I feel just doesn’t need to be there as long as it is. The song subject is never really identified fully, and the only thing identified is to “Do what you want, do what pleases you” which leads back to the careless, attitude of a punk teenager that the band keep portraying.
“Countless Video Interruptions” is the longest track on the EP and probably features the biggest sound on the whole EP too. The first two verses are the exact same lyrics but sung differently which makes it sound like he’s actually singing something completely different. Clever tactic right there. I really like how they simply interrupt the “Countless video interrupt..” with big guitars and adrenaline. It was slightly expected to happen but that just makes it more eager to listen to see if it DOES happen and it did. As much as the track is strong, it feels similar to all the others and doesn’t really show much versatility for the band.
The title track of the EP; “It’s Not What You Think” is a lot more of a softer approach for the band. The subtle harmonies are really quite prominent and lovely to hear. As the song builds, the band still situate in the lovely, stereo delay aura of the song. It really is a nice track to end such a loud EP. It is definitely needed after the great noise before. The love song wraps up the EP in a way that it reassures you that the band are simply “Not what you think.”
Favourite Tracks: Club Music, Carbon Copy, It’s Not What You Think