Reportedly, Lillian Wightman, founder of the boutique fashion store Le Louvre on Collins St, was so infatuated with Parisian styles that she never went to Paris. She stayed in Melbourne and created her own meticulous version of what she thought a Paris boutique should look like. Like Wightman, Vultures of Venus (VoV) don’t need to move to London to understand or render their British influences any more vividly, their doing just fine here in Melbourne.
Enlivening the outer fringes of the inner-city music scene for the best part of the 2000s, VoV haven’t been wasting time putting together this début LP, one that lives up to the considerable task of matching their glamoursick live show.
Seeming borne from the glam-infused wing of Britpop, which housed Menswear, Suede and Sleeper, Vultures of Venus is full of fuzzy stop-start guitars, glistening keyboards and affected vocal stylings, which are bound to inspire some and repel others. Taking the seedy and speedy urbanity as a paradise of riches, the album is an inspired ode to glitterbombed nights out at imaginary clubs and mornings watching Shit on TV or ‘experimenting with Nutella’. While few bands in Australia have the jeans black enough to walk this walk or to sing a song called Transexual like a mincing novice rent boy, VoV have synths and styles and know how to use them. Songs like Ravenette and Jump Into It get very Gary Numan when setting the scene before taking to the centre of the floor-lit dancefloor like Depeche Mode on top form.
The production is tough with the rhythms and sparkling with the synths and though it sounds like something The Mavis’s could have released in 1994, it’s a refreshing change from a bigger-than-life approach that dance music often aims for.
There is a sense of fearlessness to the sounds and themes and it’s rare to find this in an Australian band. Lyrics extend from depicting debauched nights (The Devil), drug trips (General Gloworm), sugar highs (Lollyshop), public sex (Transexual) to loss and reclamation of identity (Circles), in other words, perfect escapist music for someone city-bound by day who only knows freedom at night.
With any luck this interpretation of some of the starkest, most danceable and most lascivious music of last century will drag their darkly glittering name into bigger fonts on band billings and, like those Britpop bands – slaves to the whims of NME - a certain radio station may do the same to these dark stars.