Viles Ones is the latest project from Oh, Sleeper’s Micah Kinnard and ex-Scarlet members Randy Vanderbilt (guitar) and Andreas Magnussen (drums). The group are quintessentially post-hardcore, and with their first E.P., ‘Teeth’ check all the boxes for a dense hardcore record. It’s a potent emission of instinctive energy; a thundercloud of post-punk grit; with efficacious clamour and push-pull dynamics. It’s apparent that Vile Ones is creatively charged right now, with a vigorous 18-minutes of consecutive punches that don’t hold back or decrease their force for a second.
‘Teeth’ begins with lead single Bait & Collar – a frenetic culmination of Kinnard’s unclean screams, the siren of the guitar and the hook of a rock-hard chorus.
Without taking in a single breath Keep Your Teeth swiftly bursts in after the first track; agitated and ridden with riotous tempo shifts.
Mad Man is one of the E.P.’s best moments. It’s a disorderly clobber that pummels the ears with fertile riffs and relentless drumming. It ends playfully – with a mischievous melody that melts into the psyched up next track, Pollack. Pollack is beautifully reckless in its delivery of a racing and neck-breaking composition.
A Drink With ML Crassus is frantic. Five-tracks into the highly-charged E.P. and Vile Ones have somehow managed to move from 100% in energy to double that by this point. The eager drumming in the intro leads the listener to a zealous riot. This song, and the final track Dantzig 1808 revel in that space between post-punk and hardcore, and delight with riffs that are stamped into your memory.
The conclusion to the E.P. Dantzig 1808 starts with an odd-timed insurrection and builds up to a monumental climax; with a decelerated breakdown hauntingly parting with the screams of ‘He won’t save you now.’ The listener is left satisfied with the molten rage they’ve just encountered; yet remains with an inner desire for more – and it isn’t hard to hit repeat and listen to the E.P. from beginning to end all over again.
This E.P. is appropriately entitled ‘Teeth’ because that is what the record really is. Sharp-toothed song after song that bites into your skin; piercing and gripping you as it growls and salivates, before tearing a piece of you away to fully devour.
Vile Ones has mastered the art of chaotic composure. While there isn’t anything ground-breaking or adding something new to the post-hardcore sound, it somehow manages to both obey and transgress the genre’s rules. It is six well-mastered tracks with composition that’s a fully-controlled mess. Every hectic moment is delivered with purpose. It bodes well for the band’s future, and what a full album could bring to our ears – hopefully soon.
Get your copy of the E.P. ‘Teeth’ here.
Bait & Collar
Keep Your Teeth
A Drink with ML Crassus