Who It Is: Vicky Speedboat – Two Years No Basement; Self-Released (2015)
What It Sounds Like: racous, noisey, Japandroids-influenced pop-punk, Gaslight Anthem, You Me and Everyone You Know
Two Years No Basement is a battering, six-track EP full of angsty pop punk spewings that paint complex stories about life on the road, tough love, and drinking just a little bit too much.
Vicky Speedboat is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania power duo consisting of Sean Huber(Modern Baseball, Steady Hands) and William Linsday (W.C. Lindsay, Steady Hands). What the band lacks in members, however, they make up for in musical capability.
It’s easy to get lost in the whole pop-punk band bubble. While the drumming and guitar work in Two Years No Basement is typical of pop-punk songs, the gold in this release lies in its songwriting. The band’s careful attention to detail and character-based storytelling is what keeps this release pushing forward.
“Roman Candle Fires” is a high-energy song about how “the highway don’t go on forever.” In the track, the protagonist tells their love interest to stay on the road for as long as they can, because they’re tired of them wasting time. “Passing Through Wales” sounds like You Me And Everyone We Know, with quick, soft drums and poppy, upbeat hooks. “Dave’s Bed” slows things down a bit, often alternating between different rhythms and reminiscing about living life on the road. The vocal harmonies on “Tequila Resistant” are spot on and are something that, up to that point, hadn’t been explored on the release.
“You don’t know who you love until they’re dead / and that was the last thing that she said,” Lindsay sings in “Weathering Bell,” creating an image of a fun-loving woman who killed herself, and how she passed on her suffering to the people around her. This is, by far, the strongest song on the album and serves as a powerful conclusion to the record. The song is emotional and backed by some of the band’s most complex instrumentals. It has the power to instill feelings of heartbreak in those who have never experienced it.
The gritty pop punk album is a glorious convergence of dual vocals, perfectly-timed-out-harmonies, dense hooks, and fast paced guitar. The band’s ability to transport listeners into a different time, and place them in the shoes of the protagonist is what makes it so hard-hitting.
Two Years No Basement is consistent throughout and leaves listeners satisfied and longing for more. Being Vicky Speedboat’s first release, they’re bound to accomplish some great things if they keep it up at this rate.
You Should Probably Listen To: “Withering Ball,” “Roman Candle Fires”
Overall Rating: 7.5/10