In an era defined by a musical predilection for the anodyne and inoffensive, it’s genuinely refreshing to come across a band whose spirit is so overtly rooted in punk. Mixed and mastered by former Spacemen 3 legend Sonic Boom, ‘Departure’ is affirmation of The Vacant Lots’ proclivity for melding minimalist, primitive rock’n’roll songs with a psychedelic undertone permeating every track, all the while breaking the mould of the pervasive, neo-psychedelic sound so frequently employed by their contemporaries.

‘Departure’ sees the band combine a variety of influences and styles: Bo Diddley meets Link Wray, via the Stooges and Suicide, crafting a more menacing and diverse sound than your usual psych proponents. Look no further than the New Order-esque, synth based ‘Paint This City’ for conviction; their deviation into the use of electronics making for a more singular and up to date interpretation of the wig-out genre. The fuzzed up discordance of ‘Make The Connection’ is the album’s prevailing moment; pleasingly repetitious, guitars drone incessantly atop of Jared Artaud’s obscure utterances. It might be a tired aesthetic, but The Vacant Lots are a cut above the rest.


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