2015 marked the twentieth anniversary of Kings Lynn skate punks Vanilla Pod. That really is a remarkable achievement for a small band that has always been on independent records labels. To mark the anniversary they released a brand new mini album on Manchester's TNS Records titled Seeing Out The Sunrise. Here is my review.
The opening track on Seeing Out The Sunrise is named She's Dead Now. It's only a short opening track but displays everything we love about Vanilla Pod. It's an aggressive burst of skate punk fun with Rob Pod's distinctive vocals making me feel ten years younger. He really has one of the best vocals in the scene. The next song is my favourite on the album, it's called Wishing Well. It's a mid-tempo paced song, showcasing a more mature song writing style. Starting with some controlled drumming before the whole band join in and then Rob leads the vocals with some hugely catchy lyrics. This will instantly become a crowd favourite, when I saw Vanilla Pod support Off With Their Heads earlier this summer this was my favourite song of the whole set. G.T.B. is a song about friendship. Being in a band for such a long time has meant that the Pod have formed some pretty strong friendships over the years and G.T.B. encourages you to make the most of your friendships. I can imagine this being another great live track, being in the pit with your mates singing along with your best mates. The fourth song is Leaving The Bentinck Dock. This song is about deciding to take a chance, leaving everything behind and wondering what problems will arise. Rob Pod's voice has a great story telling element to it, really makes you listen to the lyrics.
A47 is another song that starts with a great drum beat before the guitars join in to create an excellent melodic punk tune. The energy is already feeling high at this point before Rob's vocals kick in. Like most Vanilla Pod songs the chorus is brilliantly catchy and will get you singing along in no time at all. Towards the end of the song there is a bit of a break down with a great drum fill from Robin Tow before the song builds towards a final big chorus. The penultimate song Restore Factory Settings is another with a more mature sound. The message in this song is about trying to fix a problem and not just running away and starting again. There are some lovely key changes throughout the song as it gets more and more urgent in sound as it goes on. Deaf Lugs is the name of the final song on Seeing Out The Sunrise and is another song that manages to cram everything Vanilla Pod do brilliantly into one song. Interesting melodies, great musicianship and vocals, thoughtful and smart lyrics and it's really catchy. Deaf Lugs completes what is a very strong release.
Vanilla Pod have been going for a really long time now but I think they could be better than ever with the current line up. I've seen them live a few times over the past couple of years and they've always been excellent, with this release they've cemented there place as legends among the scene. Here's to the next twenty years!
Like Vanilla Pod here: https://www.facebook.com/vanillapodrock
Stream and buy Seeing Out The Sunrise here: https://vanillapod1.bandcamp.com/album/seeing-out-the-sunrise
Now listening to Anything To Anyone by High Dive