Album Review: VANT – Karma Seeker EP

By on Thursday, 15th September 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

VANT EP coverVANT are currently one of the new class of bands drawing attention, particularly due to frontman Mattie Vant’s political voice he puts forward in his songwriting. Their previous singles, such as ‘The Answer’, which concerns the questionable UK/US relationship, have already shown his solid songwriting process that leads to tracks filed with raging choruses and affecting lyrics It’s with their debut EP ‘Karma Seeker’ that all of these key points join in perfect execution.

The EP opens with title track ‘Karma Seeker’. It’s about the idea of searching out the future and seeking the reward rather than living day to day, a notion that probably could serve the majority of the current generation well. Beginning with a simply strummed acoustic guitar that’s joined by the rest of the instrumentation and into a rather Blur-like swagger, as the verse runs through, it’s the chorus where the cause meets effect. Furiously pounded drums align with Vant’s roaring call of “karma seeker don’t sway, karma seeker pure bliss, if you search you’ll destroy what you miss”. A full-bodied track that doesn’t quite hit as hard as the previous singles ‘The Answer’ or ‘Fly-by Alien’, this tune still packs the power to set the scene for the rest of the EP.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoP4kc03tFM[/youtube]

‘Welcome To The Wonderful World of Berners Lee’ tackles conspiracy theories and how easy they are to be consumed by their mystery and as excitement from regularf life. From the idea of lizard people being in control (“maybe she’s a lizard, maybe she’s a lizard, who knows?”), to the major events of the 1960s as government conspiracies (“the man on the moon shot JFK”), each point is repeated incessantly, with the ending of “my futile mind has just been blown”. The use of repetition represents the seemingly never-ending stream of different theories and how even as one point is debunked, it will come back in a stronger form., As a fairly straightforward track that does little to build upon the traction gained from ‘Karma Seeker’, musically, it doesn’t hold as much weight as its predecessor.

American culture is a big influence on Mattie Vant’s songwriting, with ‘Jesus Was a Conman’ referring to the country’s infamous 2nd amendment that gives its people the right to bear arms. Pushing further forward from ‘Welcome…’, ‘Jesus…’ has a much stronger stance that supports his powerful position against the law. The chorus sums up the idea within the song completely – “let’s get naked, fire 47s, get naked, fire 47s, get naked, fire 47s, fire 47s on heroin”, with a rousing and soaring musical accompaniment. You could quite easily refer to each verse within the track and the points made toward changing the second amendment (that’s why it’s called an amendment). In previous interviews, Vant has made it clear that he wishes to use the band as a vehicle to speak about important issues to the generation he’s a part of. With tracks such as ‘Jesus…’, he’s doing a mighty fine job.

Finale ‘Birth Certificate’ tackles immigration, in particular the loss of Vant’s girlfriend, who was deported back to Australia. You can hear the passion in his voice as he sings his deeply personal lyrics. Most affecting is the second verse, “patriotism is a fucking lie, I’ll be branded British until the day I die, I got this label through invasion, so maybe one day we’ll be called Korean”, though none of this holds its true weight without the chorus “it only takes a second to burn your birth certificate, if the world’s ours, then why she gotta go home”. Another vicious track that does its damnedest to support the words that so easily carry his point across, it’s a perfectly apt closer, especially considering the recent Brexit events in his home country.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE-20blzZ_E[/youtube]

‘Karma Seeker EP’ is a must listen (and buy) for everybody. It features a political voice not heard for many years and finally gives the current generation a positive influence. When VANT finally release their debut LP, they have the chance to influence a generation who could, in turn, influence the future. There’s a reason VANT are such a widely watched band: they have the songs, they have the power. It’s just a matter of time until it all comes together into a movement.

9/10

VANT’s debut EP ‘Karma Seeker’ is out now on Parlophone Records. To read previous coverage of VANT on TGTF, including about their appearance at Reading 2016 last month, click here.

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