Last year, Jennylee’s debut album arrived and it had some interesting music to show off, much like Jenny Lee Lindberg’s main band Warpaint. It was heavily indebted to a Cure and goth-rock sound, which to be fair isn’t around much these days. Goth rock tends to have been absorbed by post-punk or heavy metal, so when Jenny Lee references a genre lost in time it sounded quite fresh, despite leaning more heavily on brooding post-punk than an aggressive sound. Vibe As Chill, the surprise EP that’s just been released, consists of three songs from that same album – ‘Never’, ‘Boom Boom’ and ‘White Devil’ – which also happened to be some of the strongest cuts anyway. It’s an acoustic EP, but it doesn’t have a folky sound, if anything it sounds like Robert Smith’s acoustic live versions of early Cure albums such as Seventeen Seconds. Listen to the acoustic version of ‘A Forest’ and see the comparisons for yourselves.
It’s ok, but not much more than that
Though Vibe As Chill might be slightly redundant, it’s a fairly harmless (short) collection of acoustic songs that don’t have too many differences from the original versions. Lindberg’s vocals emerge out of the dense mix on the LP, instead on a song like ‘Never’, she’s front and centre and the lyrics have more of a life to them when cloaked in less reverb and atmospheric instrumentation. None of these songs have anything over the originals, they don’t disappear down any new rabbit holes that could have been brought to life by just Lindberg and an acoustic guitar. The only minor alteration that has a recognisable difference is the introduction to ‘Boom Boom’, where instead of the heavy bass that opened the album is a sparkling guitar pattern that resembles Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘If I Had A Tail’. If the songs had more length to them; possibly some interesting extra segments bolted onto the songs, Vibe As Chill might have been worth a listen, but the commitment to the originals is what makes the EP not much more than shrugworthy.
If Vibe As Chill is just a reminder than Jennylee is doing her thing and keeping herself busy until the new Warpaint album (they’ve been teasing studio sessions), then it does its job. The problem is, the strength of the album was its gothy post-punk, which is mostly lost when translated to an acoustic setting. Therefore, it will probably have little impact unless you happen to be a big Warpaint or Jennylee fan. Lucky for her, we are, so we’re just fine with some more music to listen to. It’s ok, but not much more than that.
Funnel Recommends: White Devil
(Sidenote: Vibe As Chill is a fun sort of project, so no scores? Ok? Ok)