Release Date: Sep 28, 2010
Record label: PPM
Genre(s): Indie Rock
Somewhere between the release of its first album, Skeleton, and the sophomore album Crush, Abe Vigoda seems to have traded in all of its afro-pop and world music records for a collection of disco singles and Cure albums. More specifically, the quartet has left behind the tribal/tropical/world music guitar and drums and added gummy-sounding synths and upbeat tempos in their place. Much of the album sounds like an update on Skeleton (minus the world influences), with careening guitars and drums splattering all corners of the mix, reverb coating everything with a wet haze, and Michael Vidal’s voice becoming much more of a focal point.
Dismissing their palpably murderous spirit, Abe Vigoda have always held a dramatic, Shakespearean approach behind their muscular sound. Their second full length, 2008’s Skeleton, ridged math rock arrangements with non-stop bouts of exhilarating delay pedaling and thunderous drum work. In spite of that, a celebratory tropical influence surfaced Micheal Vidal’s tormented vocals, which were always unclear behind all the overjoyed noise.
If you dug Abe Vigoda's last album, Skeleton, but slept on the follow-up EP Reviver, Crush might come as a bit of a shock. Where Skeleton solidified their rep as "tropical-punk" workaholics, spitting out blasts of chiming guitar and gnarled beats, Crush indulges their love of goth and coldwave, with synths often louder than guitars. Reviver nudged things in that direction, sounding more emotive and less claustrophobic (there was even a maudlin remake of Skeleton's "Endless Sleeper" that did away drums entirely), but here they go full-bore, evoking the drama of Psychedelic Furs or Echo and the Bunnymen.
Since the release of ’08’s ‘[b]Skeleton[/b]’, LA quartet [a]Abe Vigoda[/a] have quit their day jobs, got skint really fast and made a shiny new album of dark, experimental punk that’d have any exotic-goth DJ hitting repeat. Hear ‘[b]November[/b]’, possible proof that [a]David Bowie[/a] accidentally swallowed a set of bagpipes while necking a fruity cocktail under the strobe lights in a morbid disco dance routine. This is technically the fourth full-length they’ve released, and it seems AV don’t quite reinvent themselves under pressure so much as contort themselves into bigger, better and weirder ways to take everybody’s ears on a massive tangent.
While a lot of bands (and artists, and writers) comfortably inhabit a stylistic niche that they set upon early in their career and ride out for the remainder, the stakes are a lot higher, critically and commercially, for those who choose to mix it up. Reinvention is difficult; occasionally it pays off massively (Dylan going electric), occasionally flops dramatically (Dee Dee Ramone’s rap album); sometimes it confounds only to meet adulation upon reassessment (Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music). And sometimes it just makes you miss one of your favourite bands.
Explores the dark, suburban-gothic shades always loitering beneath their surface glimmer. Kev Kharas 2010 Enthusiasm is not loyal to happiness. In 2008, Abe Vigoda shot a video for Skeleton, a track that shared a name with the album it was taken from. The track itself is raucously upbeat, dual guitars like golden vines twisting around themselves, gang vocals sharing a chorus propulsive drums whip into delirium.