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The Vasco Era

Miles EP

(Era Records; US: Available as import; UK: Available as import; Australia release date: 7 Apr 2005)

The Holden Kingswood is the Australian equivalent of the Chevrolet El Camino, an iconic family sedan of the 1970s that still connotes stability and content in the metaphoric imagination of many Aussies. “Kingswood” propels the Vasco Era’s debut EP, Miles, and neatly sums up this young Victorian band’s rose-coloured view of blues-rock’s past. The band is energetic and raw, and brings to their White Stripes/Black Keys-style blues rock a low-fi passion; but as yet they haven’t quite got the songwriting chops to produce something earth-shaking. “Kingswood”‘s the obvious radio hit, with its Jet chorus (though there’s nothing really new here). Sid O’Neill’s gravelly voice recalls the Drones on “He Came Along Again”, and it really carries the song—but it’s not quite enough, in the absence of a melody that lasts. Calmer “Turn to Blue” is a neat ending, a shuffling acoustic ballad and holds the highest promise that this trio knows how to write catchy blues-influenced pop. Still, the question remains: can the group sustain appeal over a whole album?

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Dan Raper has been writing about music for PopMatters since 2005. Prior to that he did the same thing for his college newspaper and for his school newspaper before that. Of course he also writes fiction, though his only published work is entitled "Gamma-secretase exists on the plasma membrane as an intact complex that accepts substrates and effects intramembrane cleavage". He is currently studying medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia.


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