I’m still not convinced by the recently coined term ‘post-prog’ (also called ‘new prog’), but if such a genre exists – and the indie music world insists on its usage – then I will submit (like a sheep) and use it to describe Vetoes. If post-prog is the use of progressive elements in alternative and indie music, then it’s a rather fitting description of the Reading based quartet.
Vetoes’ new EP ‘Ritalin/Ritalout’ consists of four expertly produced tracks of indie-rock. It’s not at all groundbreaking – in fact, it’s really quite the opposite. This band sound like a mixture of the big indie bands currently dominating music journalism – laced throughout the EP is the jangle of Vampire Weekend, the math-rock of Foals, and the heavier alt-rock of Biffy Clyro.
Opener ‘The Waterfront’ is propelled into action by pummeling tom toms, and contains stabbing, post-hardcore riffs, with a nice, little Queens Of The Stone Age style interlude in the mid-section. ‘Melting Clocks’ is filled with quick-fire, jangly guitar parts – a style of guitar that is used throughout the EP – while ‘Pacifist’ demonstrates Vetoes’ ability to pen a decent pop hook. The best song is 'Sonic Turge' the closing track – which is perhaps the most Biffy-esque number on offer, with experimental, high-pitched guitar lines and riffs building to an energetic conclusion. The stop-start, quiet-loud dynamics aren’t quite as heavy or erratic as Biffy, but they do add a pleasant (post?) progressive edge. I tend to overlook lyrics in favour of their delivery, but in this case they are so accomplished it was difficult not to take note.
In some regards, particularly the tempo shifts and the vocal harmonies, Vetoes sound like The Automatic (minus the synths), but whereas the latter sound like a band lacking confidence and trying too hard to please everyone (and therefore no one), this band sound purposeful. They know they aren’t producing anything new – they don’t want to, they just want to make heavy indie-alt-rock as well as their contemporaries. As the band told Music Liberation (in an interview in March), referring to other bands: “bands who aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel deserve to be heard as well.” I agree, and this is certainly true of Vetoes. Boundaries may not be pushed, but the songs are written and recorded so professionally, and with such passion, that the resulting ‘Ritalin/Ritalout’ EP sounds just as fine as any of the UK indie-rock mainstays, and just as interesting as any of the other UK post-prog bands, whoever they may or may not be.
Melting Clocks by vetoes