There’s rolling down the trash track and there’s rolling down the reverb hill and then there’s The Vagoos. Come to think of it, all three options sound pretty much the same and The Vagoos, with their self-titled album, have avoided washing their hands of the musical sins of the past to bring you lucky people some much needed lo-fi guitar powered dirt.
You won’t need psychic powers to work out that The Vagoos are not a band to see in the daytime. Their surf powered psych sound depends as much on volume as it does on that post midnight vibe that raised them from the decadent inspirations of the past. That’s not say that they are resurrected children of the sixties for even in their most sensitive moments, such as “Swept Away”, The Vagoos seem more like spaced out children of the Ramones than the great grandchildren of The Standells. It is therefore unsurprising that it is the more energetic songs that make the most of this band’s relentless energy. The frenetic “By Bye My Love”, for example, is low on chords but high on impact before, an almost inevitable crash and burn. It’s a fine way to end an album, by the way.
Revisionists, revivalists – call them what you will – but The Vagoos are the kind of band that know how to power a party. Just don’t expect to see them after sunrise.