The Record - Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Vampire Weekend - Oxford Camera
From the opening stanza of Mansard Roof, the first track on Vampire Weekend's self-titled debut, you are put on notice. Your ears prick up, and you say to yourself 'what is this, do I like it?'. Before you have time to contemplate that thought, the first verse hits and you're hooked.
It's afrobeat, if afrobeat was sliced up in a meat grinder and served up in a pop sandwich. So far, names like the Strokes, Paul Simon (circa Graceland) and Interpol have all been mentioned when discussing this band. They are all apt descriptions. Oxford Camera starts off like a perfectly pitched Strokes cut, but then the pipe organ drops in. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa bepops on the back of everpresent bongo's, quite a soundscape to discuss the united colours of bennetton and louis vuitton. And this is the music stretches from the musically appealing to the culturally intruiging. Instead of Simon's postulating about third world dilemma's and calling him Al, Vampire Weekend have no qualms about sneaking in reference's to Lil Jon and Peter Gabriel.
You can accuse them for being over-privileged yaley's slumming it in the east village, but that would be missing the point. They paint such a vivid picture of university excess, and against such a colourful palate, that dishing out any vitriol would be pointless. The comeback to all your allegations is the music itself. Just give in, it's not like it's a guilty pleasure.
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