The Vanities – 2001
The Vanities are an electro-rock duo from Cardiff formed in 2001 by Rhys Bradley (vox/guitars) & Adam Hill (bass/keyboards) and in the past have released albums on Boobytrap Records.
This album has been a long time coming, but the patience has been worth it. It might be called “2001” but the album sits comfortably alongside 80s/90s acts such as Depeche Mode and Duran Duran. However, for those that shudder at the thought be reassured that this album takes inspiration from the sounds of that era rather than being an exercise in wistful nostalgia.
The album explores love & war, madness & mortality and contains some extremely well crafted and well produced tracks. Highlights on the album include “Stars” which begins with spoken words from Churchill and sounds like a lost classic that wouldn’t sound out of place on a 1980s hits compilation. Elsewhere “Dropping a Bomb” is a euphoric ‘INXS meets Simple Minds’ floor filler with some fine muscular guitar work and superb sax playing. The stand out, and most commercial song here, is “London” which, with a radio edit, could well get the band attention beyond Wales. You can just imagine the music video with smoke filled streets around Soho and a cast freshly extracted from the Blitz Club.
Overall “2001” is a fine album that takes the inspiration from a bygone age and makes it sound fresh and relevant for 2021.