February 1, 2008
For awhile now, everyone has been raving about Vampire Weekend and how amazing they are live. The worry was that they might not be able to capture that same madcap energy in the studio. Well, here is their first release and self-titled album and those fears can be laid to rest. There is a reason critics were so obsessed with this band, in fact they topped many top bands lists last year even without an album released. This is definitely one of the more upbeat and easygoing indie records to come out in a long time. The style is one of those very hard to define types, they would best be described as a mash-up of Graceland-era Paul Simon and a Wes Anderson soundtrack with a nice sprinkling of Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros for good measure. If any of that made sense to you there is a pretty good chance you will enjoy this. They have a very upbeat and literate take on indie-pop with a very strong African beat. They have coined this style Upper West Side Soweto, with that you can tell the kind of writing you will find here. They touch upon everything, from Victorian architecture to reggaeton and all the way into the sordid world of grammar uses. All the songs here are excellent and you will instantly want to sing along. This is one of those bands that you kind of have to hear to appreciate, start off with the song Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, it perfectly sums up what this band is about. In closing, this is the rare debut that is damn near perfect in every way.