The Vegan Leather – Poor Girls / Broken Boys (4 stars)

The Vegan Leather – Poor Girls / Broken Boys

Paisley quartet's debut album is an 11-track riot

Do you remember the first time? Not any nascent sexual awakening, nor the first flush of love, but the moment you realised how profoundly excited you were about going home from a heavy night out – the late evening swell of bedroom fantasies now entirely composed of you, alone, with a good book and a hot chocolate? Heads up: you might be living inside a Vegan Leather song.

Not that the Paisley quartet's debut album is sedentary; on the contrary, each of the 11 tracks here are something of a riot, a hot streak burning through punk, disco, indie, and even a few metal moments. But it's that classic pop juxtaposition of catchy tunes set to jet-black lyrical content that makes Poor Girls / Broken Boys such a rampant success.

First singles 'French Exit' and 'The Hit' both arguably offer the album in microcosm. The former seems to showcase various Saturday night anxieties – booze, drugs, other people – amalgamated into one glorious, accordion-strewn slice of art pop; the latter, meanwhile, explores the larger-scale pressures of being allowed to occupy space in society at all: 'We exist cos we're able to, cos you want me to, don't need me to.'

The pace on Poor Girls / Broken Boys can be overwhelming in places, permanently determined to dance out all the nervous energy, but it's worth it. Fan favourite 'Days Go By' sounds catchier than ever here, and the Depeche Mode-inspired goth-pop of 'Heavy Handed' sounds massive. More than anything, the Vegan Leather speak truth. 'The songs are a testament to how people learn to deal with hardships and tell stories, of how we either succumb or resist to the world we live in,' singer Marie says in the press notes. Don't we need a little more of that in the world?

Out now on Midnight Pink / Believe Digital.

The Vegan Leather

Art pop four-piece from Glasgow.

Gullivers, Manchester

Sat 8 Feb 2020

£9

Latest Music Bar, Brighton

Fri 24 Jan 2020

£6.60 / 01273 687171

Thousand Island, London N5

Thu 23 Jan 2020

£7.75

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