I recently started freelance writing and doing record reviews of Canadian bands, and it is fun and interesting, to say the least. I jumped on another random EP to review and I happily didn’t feel as frustrated about it as I have with some others. In this specific case, I was dealt the latest EP from Winnipeg, MB’s Art Vandelay titled Dull.
First off, bands with Seinfeld references (also check out The Penske File, Lowtalker — members of Comeback Kid) normally rule and make you feel bad because they’re better than you, so I had high expectations for a Seinfeld-ish band, but unfortunately the Midwest Canadian quintet didn’t make me feel bad.
Fear not, their EP is really good. I liked it, but maybe more for nostalgia reasons. When I was a teen, I was too punked out to care for emo or post hardcore. I liked (and still do) Rancid, NOFX, Bad Religion, Misfits, The Casualties etc., so bands like The Used, Taking Back Sunday, and Thursday didn’t matter to me. As I got older and more emotionally and socially adept, bands from that early 2000s generation made way more sense to me. Hence, I was stoked when random bands we used to play with on tour would do a cover of TBS’s “Cut without the E” or Saves the Day’s “You Vandal.”
Art Vandelay have that same melodic sound, twinned with emotional and cunning song structures with good hooks. This five-song release presents a production that is good for what it is, and either way, the EP makes sense. I enjoyed it. Each tune seamlessly flows into the next, from the strong and relatable EP opener “Bliss” to the heavy, fast-paced closer “Autodefenestration.” I give it 7.5 out of 10 or better yet, 7.5 Victory Records samplers out of 10. It is definitely something you should peep if you’re a tad sad or alienated and/or used to taking selfies on MySpace.
Written by Gabe Koury