Few albums this year have had us waiting with baited breath for their release quite as much as the self-titled debut effort from Glasgow rockers Vukovi. The tracks the quartet have dropped in recent months hinted we’d be in for a treat, and, now the album is here we really aren’t disappointed.
From the off, this is the sort of thrill ride reminiscent of acts dropping killer albums for years. ‘La Di Da’ demands attention in beguiling fashion and supercharges the listener’s energy levels more than an ungodly quantity of Iron Bru. From here neither the quality or the ride relents for a second. We get our first glimpse at the band’s ability to seamlessly blend genres at will on ‘Weirdo’, grooving alt-rock colliding with a sultry electro indie with immersive results. This, alongside a razor sharp rhythm section shines throughout, but it’s the vocal performance from Janine Shilstone that will stand out as the star of the show to most listeners.
The build of ‘Target Practice’ to a storming crescendo gives her the chance to show off stratospheric range and power, before radio ready banger ‘Bouncy Castle’ wows with a hefty chorus. Later big time driving rock meets another huge melodic chorus on ‘Prey’, a track that indicates Vukovi already have the tunes to sound right at home in the larger venues that await.
Shifting soundscapes and styles characterise the back half of the record, a glorious genre mashup adding elements of dance and house to the euphoric chorus of ‘I’m Wired’. Closer ‘Colour Me In’ even manages to add a refreshed and vital feel to a ballad, in a sweeping and unique take on the format.
In one stunning, effortless swoop Vukovi have announced themselves as major players, with an album sure to put almost any other imminent British rock release in its shadow. Where so many of their compatriots created great records that focused on straight laced rock, here these Glasgow upstarts defy the “Scot Rock” blueprint, unleashing into the world a wonderfully unpredictable, genre-spanning delight to the senses. Is this an album of the year contender? Unequivocally yes!
‘Vukovi’ by Vukovi is released on 10th March on LAB Records.
Words by Dane Wright (@MrDaneWright)