After what was a rather turbulent 2016 in terms of politics and other worldwide issues, the world was basically screaming for the album that has turned out to be Vant’s long-awaited debut, ‘Dumb Blood’. Vant are a London based punk rock quartet which was originally a solo project by frontman, Mattie Vant.
Opening track ‘The Answer’ is driven by a melodic, bass guitar riff with stuttered vocals and shouted, snappy choruses. ‘The Answer’ is one brash album opener, with far from subtle, bold lyrics. Quickly moving on to ‘Put Down Your Gun’, this track takes a much more garage, even grunge influenced approach with well thought out lyrics, which is a common theme throughout the album. ‘Peace & Love’ is also anything but peaceful, instrumentation-wise.
‘Lampoon’ builds into something rather urgent with the screamed vocals of “Everything is dumb with this generation” repeated many times. All of the tracks on the album are infectiously catchy in their own right, but ‘Do You Know Me?’ and ‘Parasite’ stand out on their own. ‘Parasite’ is strummed, vital, rapid and very much brimming with urgency.
‘I Don’t Believe In God’ is a bit more relaxed with silence acting as an instrument in its own right during the gaps throughout the verses. The track picks up and becomes blusterous and penetrating by the end. ‘Headed For The Sun’ then takes an interesting turn with spoken vocal delivery in the introduction, and is actually quite poetic throughout.
Quite the contrast in comparison to the rest of the album, ‘Are We Free?‘ is a lot calmer. Starting off with an atmospheric soundscape of an intro, it drifts along and is rather easy listening. It’s a much needed nonchalant, breezy interval, starting off much more slowly in a dreamlike state, then becoming more fully formed into something quite crystal. Heading towards the end of the album, ‘Karma Seeker’ is strummed and powerful, but definitely has a more relaxing tone to it overall.
‘Dumb Blood’ is an incredibly strong, coherent debut album, with confidence being exuded from each and every song throughout. The tracks all have the same catchy, concise formula in common alongside a raw energy. It’s a clever social commentary, persistent and strong-willed all at the same time shouting loud and proud about issues ranging from inequality to global warming to religion, politics and beyond. It might not be groundbreaking or an album that will change the world, but at least it’s not afraid to talk about more about serious issues in a fun way to get the message across.