Review by Ella Patenall
Us Against Them is the third EP from one of our favourites; the Dublin-based, garage-rock duo, Vulpynes. The four tracks really pack a punch and bring to mind the good old days of dark, sweaty music venues and moshing to cathartic, primitive in-your-face rock & roll. This was meant to be their debut album but cut short by the pandemic, the duo decided to release four tracks as an EP instead, and are we glad they did!
They may have a full-band sound but the band consists of just Molly on guitar and vocals, and Kaz on drums. Over the past two years, they have been building a name for themselves in both their native Ireland and the UK, having supported Marmozets, Stiff Little Fingers, and Sleaford Mods.
One Horse Mind, the opening track, is a powerful one. It starts with a ringing out of guitar feedback, giving you a clue of what’s to come. You are then hit with a thick wall of sound and Molly’s powerful blunt vocal line “your indifference doesn’t make a difference to me”.
The guitar riffs are simply and fuzzy, and sit perfectly alongside the chunky drums. Molly’s voice is clear, yet gritty, conveying attitude and sincerity. It brings to mind grunge vocalists Courtney Love (Hole), Brody Dalle (Distillers), and Shirley Manson (Garbage). The punchy lyrics mirror the music’s style; full of attitude and not trying too hard to be clever. Some words are a bit obscured as a result of being slurred together, but the song’s big energetic climax with Molly screaming vocals: “fucks with my brain” is a force to be reckoned with.
However, it’s the second track, The Motor is Me that is my favourite track off the EP. It starts with a dark grungy guitar riff before erupting into their signature in-your-face thick, fuzzy sound. The guitars do have a motor-like quality, whether intentional or not, which is fitting given the title. Kaz’s high-energy crashing cymbals on the drums complement the guitar well, ramping up the energy.
The duo give us some breathing room in the bridge, which takes it down a bit with a marching drumbeat entering and the guitar thinning out slightly. This dynamic variation is important, and is something they could explore more in their music to add further interest.
I imagine they put on a ferociously energetic live gig, and luckily I don’t have to wait long to catch these two as they will be performing at our very own Loud Women Fest in September 2021 and I can’t wait to see them in action.