ARTIST OF THE MONTH
From Manchester, England -The city that brought us The Smiths, Joy Division, Oasis, Buzzcocks, and Doves- come Hot Vestry made up of Harry Ward (vocals, lyrics), Will Taylor (lead guitar), and Joe Ward (drums). March of this year saw the release of the band’s independently produced second EP, Dust. Splashes of Joy Division influence is evident but it isn’t a sound that Hot Vestry clings to, instead it is a mere brushstroke on an already colorful canvas. Dust EP is energetic, fun, adventurous, and pulls you in immediately.
“You’ve got suspicion in your eyes…”
The arena-ready opening track “Dust” does a fine job at setting the tone for the EP. It is filled with guitar riffs that, to put it simply, purely rock and strays from the conventional song structure providing more instrumental breaks and less vocals than one usually expects in modern rock.
“Turn on the bright lights, forever in the dark!”
The energy continues uninterrupted and finds its way into the second track, “Turn On”, where Harry Ward showcases more of his vocal style- at times meek at times vibrant with angst and overall pleasant; ultimately he gets us to chant alongside him. “Snakes In The Grass” sounds like it came straight from ’90s alternative radio but almost knowingly it ironically snaps us out of this notion and sets us straight “this is the future, not the past!”. “Blood For Tears” treats to groovier, funkier side of Hot Vestry and the great opening line “I smell betrayal in your breath” leaves us wondering what betrayal might smell like.
Although Dust EP sounds like a fresh perspective on the alternative music genre, it is by no means perfect. The songs can run a bit long and the lyrics can get somewhat repetitive. It’s clear the band likes to experiment with sound and does a fine job with it but they’ve yet to find their signature; experimentation is encouraged (and applauded). The lyrics were honest and free of pretense but at times it felt like more were needed. “I’m gonna show you a real man…” There lives a maturity in Hot Vestry songs, one that doesn’t feel forced or artificial, and they have the quality one might not expect out of three boys who aren’t old enough to legally vote yet. Dust EP is impressive not only because of its vibrant, modern sound but also because it’s the creation of three sixteen year old boys with exceptional musicianship skills. It’s very exciting to imagine what Hot Vestry will bring us in the coming years when they are still around and have fully matured their craft. The band has kept busy playing shows in and around Manchester and it won’t be long until the world is familiar with them. Oimos is proud to entitle Hot Vestry its Artist of the Month. Even The Drummers’ singer Jonathan Pierce seems to agree this is one cool group of guys.