Open the door to an endless stream of ennui. Let Vomitface clumsily chisel abortive idioms of your virtual coma. Let them pinch your nerves, hold your consciousness in a Vulcan death grip for the next forty minutes. Let their angular dissonance serve as the spiritual buffer to your self-loathing.
“I like the way you comb your hair/ I like the subtle way you roll your eyes” insists lead-off track “Senior Pictures.” Histrionics turned up high, here’s a thrilling, applause-for-your-vitriol narrative. Jared Micah brings his dramatis personae to life, presenting the mundane with poignant narcissism.
The brittle, smoldering “Dramamine” rigorously unfurls a co-morbid vertigo: “Let me touch your hand; let me feel the palm/ And finger-fuck the wound/ Then ease it with some balm.” Quite provocatively, the Toronto trio unpack a scathing grunge sensibility.
Snappy and tragically funny, “If/ Then” rides the waves of entertainingly pathological narratives–with tidbits of dialogue seemingly borrowed from, if not inspired by, Brooklyn personalities. Their intelligent nonsense-poetry, almost an accidentally hilarious send-up of so much of our culture. Thankfully, much like their name, they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously (“‘Cause Jesus paid it all/ and that loan is gaining interest/ Everything I love/ Everything I hate/ Everything/ Hanky panky please and thanky/ Eat it up amen”).
“Et Cetera” is an ode to the quotidian. It sighs and retches feverishly with disconnected observances. The sharp, lurid “Fat Witch” teams with voyeuristic malice while “Chew Toy” scoops up industrial servings of irony (“I’m dusting off the shelf/ I’ve learned to love myself”). I hear applause; it’s all for me! Hooray indeed.
Hooray For Me is, in itself, a relentless morality play. With its heightened sense of apartness, its self-aware inability to join in, Hooray has the the turpitude of a badly-reputed Anais Nin character, a horror reportage not dissimilar to Big Black’s journalistic stride. And with jarring dynamic shifts that call upon Slint, leaden riffs that draw from Shellac, Preetma Singh and Jared Micah tear a page from the ol’ 80s indie rock playbook. However, unlike most contemporary art-damaged post-grunge bands, they do so without obscuring or alienating the listener.
So, if you find yourself asking the age old question, What do you get if you put the son of a Tennessee preacher and a law school graduate in a room together with Steve Albini? Wonder no more, Vomitface’s debut full length has the answer for you: Black surf. Avant-grunge. Sludge-pop.
The question is, Can you stomach the gore?
Hooray For Me is out today via Help Yourself Records. You can stream the full-length here.