VLAD: Toque la Guitarra

Whoah, when was the last time a guitar band was on ANBAD? It must be, like ages ago, yeah?

Well, it was actually only a couple of weeks ago, but that really is an age in the mesmerisingly flighty world of new music.

Still, it is evidence (if, by ‘evidence’ you mean ‘anecdotal guesswork’) that guitar-based music is, if not in decline, in a bit of a slump. I can’t put my finger on the exact reasons, but my guess is that the post-Britpop period where guitars primarily became posing devices skewed a couple of generations’ idea of what a guitar actually is. 

Which is to say: a lump of wood and wire that can convey pretty much whatever emotion you like, if you press your fingers onto it in the right way. Riffs are secondary. Appropriately, VLAD gently nudge both sounds and feelings from their guitars.

I get the impression that their sound evolved from many hours of playing together, rather than the drab “hey guys, let’s form a Genre X band!” starting point.


Caramel, kinky and enticing, is one of those songs that has an innate understanding: guitar music and those who play it have many needs, but also have limitations. The balance here is just about right – the songs caress and sooth, prickle and abrase. It’s a lovely song without ego.

VLAD consider this and its sister songs demos: I say, release them as-is – they work.

NB: The Spanish don’t ‘play’ guitars. They toque la guitarra – touch the guitar. The concept is different: touching implies coaxing, communication. Playing is a one-way street. VLAD know this.


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