Vulture Kult are a rock ‘n’ roll band from Saskatoon, Canada, with a serious classic rock vibe. I’ve never heard their debut album (self-titled), but this second outing, informatively titled Don’t Let Rock N’ Roll Ruin Your Life was released on July 2nd, 2012. The album opens with Electric Medication and straight away it shows a whole heap of their influences from Zeppelin to Sabbath. The song is simple, but very catchy, which is everything good rock n’ roll should be. Hans Bielefeld (vocals and guitar)’s voice straight away put me in mind of early Ozzy Osbourne with the way its mixed, and a little bit of a very young James Hetfield for the tone (before he started ending every sentence with “’ah”).
The title track of the album opens with a sound that’s usually more akin to the indie genre, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. The verses are heavier, made so by both the guitar and Bradley Friesen on the drums. The vocals are few and far between in this song and when they do come they’re short and sharp.
The thing that strikes me the most about Vulture Kult (and the thing I like the most) is the fact that every song on the album has a strong intro. By far the strongest is the third track, Vultures From Above. The riff alone is enough to get me through the song. This song then goes through a longer interlude than its predecessors which mixes up the formula at just the right time as I personally abhor hearing the same thing over and over.
Avenue H is just awesome. A half way between Rolling Stones and old skool punk and that’s all I should have to say about it.
Tracks 5 and 6 (Cyanide Hand Grenade and Go Loose) are my least favourite on the album. While they both have parts that I really liked, like the title for Cyanide… and the chorus in Go Loose, they were the weakest of the whole bunch. Buy hey, something had to be, so don’t sweat it.
Welcome to the Land of the Dead has the raunchiest intro on the album. Beginning with a bluesy solo before dropping into a minimalistic sort of seventies Alice Cooper kind of track with a heavy chorus. It wins the award for the most different of the bunch so far. The way Hans holds the word ‘dead’ at the end of the chorus is just cool and it’s just what the song needed.
The early Cooper/Zappa kind of weirdness carries on in the atmospheric Movie of Me. It’s on a completely different board to anything else I’ve heard so far. Have you ever seen Twin Peaks? It’s like that. The same goes for the sombre final track Checking Out; not the Twin Peaks reference, but as a chilling circus tune that’s completely out of context to the rock and roll, it’s spot on the money, and makes a brilliant fade out to the amount of balls and paunch this album has.
All in all Don’t Let Rock N’ Roll Ruin Your Life is a strong album, and very well made considering the band are a two-piece. Every song has something likeable about it. If I had to pick one fault with the album (and I do, or it just wouldn’t be fair), it’s that a lot of songs start the same. Cyanide… and Go Loose are a good example of this. It probably wouldn’t have come to light if they weren’t right next to each other, but it is what it is.