Curiosity - POLYVINYL
FILTER Grade: 82%
By Zack Kraimer on May 15, 2013
Wampire’s freshly minted sound doesn’t submit so easily to single genres as it does overarching sentiments. Their influences are held close, but they draw from so many seemingly distant places on their full-length debut that it’s a wonder it emerged as focused as it did. Produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jake Portrait, Curiosity is both retro-grabbing and forward-minded. It’s a crackling, macabre rocker indebted to both The Strokes and Joy Division while still synth-prone and undeniably poppy—contradictions that make for wide tonal and stylistic palettes. Playfully askew vocal melodies weave through phased-out guitar and electronic organ swells, and styles vary from the straight-ahead gallop of “The Hearse” and “Giants” to the Motown-minded “Trains.” “Spirit Forest” sounds like something you might hear at a werewolf prom. Curiosity is satisfyingly eerie without appearing forced, a sign of some songwriting talents on the rise.