Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (4 stars)

Vampire Weekend

(XL Recordings)


Indie rock has taken many wilful turns in its ragged adolescence but the predilection for smartening up and tuning up has been one that’s arrived to infrequently for most. Vampire Weekend look like dropouts from an Abercrombie and Fitch ad campaign, all crisp shirts and loafers and sound literary, tuneful, funky (in a starchy, white boy kind of way) and educated (it lists their university specialisms on the press release).

Julian Cope, The Police, The Strokes, Josef K, Paul Simon and of course the much feted afrobeat influence are all there to be found in this succinct (34 minutes) album but the unpolished, loose feel gives this a charm all its own. What, on initial listen, can come over as naivety is actually a studied attempt to impress some different sonic ideas on the four-boys-in-a-band format. Somehow, they manage not to sound completely contrived on an oddly bewitching debut.

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