Energetic art-pop, meticulous songwriting and delightful melodies. The Vegan Leather have delivered the full package exceptionally. If you’ve not been paying close attention to the underground Scottish music scene, there’s a high chance you’ll have missed the plethora of bands oozing belters on a constant basis. If you have been paying attention there’s no doubt that The Vegan Leather will already be on your radar and if you haven’t been paying attention you’re about to enter a carefully crafted world of energetic disco-infused rhythms and fun-loving art pop galore.
On Poor Girls / Broken Boys the Paisley quartet have perfectly curated an album that is vibrant, colourful and fresh whilst paying homage to its influences. It’s a record that doesn’t let you catch your breath, pairing themes of social anxiety with dynamic vocal performances and thrilling back beats. It’s an entirely cohesive record with all members of the band equally pulling their weight to create something worthy of praise.
A constant on the album is the underlying infectious grooves and the delightful vocal pairings of Gianluca Bernacchi and Marie Collins; a perfect example of this would be one of the standout tracks, ‘Unorthodox’, which sees the pair swap verses before clashing together for the rapturous chorus. This track also has a familiar Franz Ferdinand feel whilst still managing to stand completely on its own.
‘French Exit’ is the perfect introduction to an album that is relentlessly fun. The band operate in a space in which they highlight themes of social anxiety merged with erratic dance floor hits seamlessly. ‘The Knife’ is another highlight and whilst the vocal performances are again outstanding, Matthew McGoldricks’ bass playing will really catch your attention, it’s enough to get you dancing on its own. It’s a testament to the band just how well everything comes together and how interchangeable the focus is on each member; everyone has their stand-out moments but at no point does anyone else falter. The percussion from Duncan Carswell is a joy throughout the album and is essential to the infectious grooves that we’re now accustomed to hearing from TVL. It’s the two singles ‘The Hit’ and ‘Heavy-Handed’ that showcase the band’s sound; they’re not only providing us with unshakable grooves, they’ve also found their own.
If The Vegan Leather can keep up this momentum, they’ll be producing more bangers than a fireworks factory and we’ll be all the better for it.