In Review: VanDeRocker - The Good Punk
As 2020 continues to feel like some kind of other-worldly lucid reality, VanDeRocker’s upcoming EP The Good Punk sees the Dutch-American artist herself stray further from reality, with a four-song concoction of psychedelic sounds and spiritual ambience.
The EP’s opening track, ‘Cult for You’, a high-octane electro-pop anthem combines fuzzy, distorted drums with catchy indie guitar licks and luminescent synths. Here we’re given the first insight into Adrienne VanDeRocker’s well-influenced vocal range throughout this record, falling somewhere between the haunting tones of Melissa Auf der Maur, the punk prowess of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O, and the high-pitched playfulness of Die Antwood’s own Yolandi Visser – this latest project is a successful testament to the contemporary female frontwomen of the alt-rock, avant-garde genre.
‘Endless City’ unexpectedly shifts the vibe and mood of the record entirely, beginning with a slowed, sleazy bass guitar that uncannily resembles Nick Cave, especially if VanDeRocker were to throw in “…Stagger Lee!” at the end of each verse. This opening, fittingly accompanied with a subtle egg-shaker in the background, evokes a dark, smoky poker table, or a dim-lit alley among conspicuous company. As haunting backing vocals feature atop VanDeRocker’s drawn-out, atmospheric singing, a shroud of ethereal sounds begins to envelope the composition, the bassline evolving into a funkier groove before VanDeRocker walks us through another progressively ambient tune in ‘Taking Notes’. It’s this track and ‘Supercell’ where the vast range of the record’s vocal layers can be best heard, with the final two songs shifting back between spoken-word, to whispering, and melodic backing vocals posing the difficult task of choosing which parts to sing along to.
The Good Punk is a cacophony of alt-rock, psychedelic must-haves in rhythmic guitar (undoubtedly thanks to the work of The Dandy Warhols' Peter Holström on the record) and soul-stirring synth. Combine these elements with the rest of Adrienne VanDeRocker’s multi-instrumentalism and you’re presented with one impressive, genre-melding collection of songs that are each as unique as the last.