Best Of

Best Punk Band


“Street rock” is a label generally pressed upon bands that write songs combining elements of English oi! and American rock ‘n’ roll to energetic, but ultimately forgettable, result. The lyrics are about drinking, unformed ideas about “pride,” and the lives of directionless young men. Every few years an exception comes on the scene, and this year, that’s Vanity, a Brooklyn duo (fleshed out to a full band when live) who’ve released an LP and an EP’s worth of memorable songs you’ll actually revisit. Instead of routine retellings of violent nights or fractured friendships, we’re met with seething lyrics that remind the listener more of Smiths-era Morrissey — albeit a growling one — dissatisfied with the hypocrisy the rest of us sort of just deal with. The lyrics provide a gloomy foil to the familiar sound of circa-’82 punk guitar, which is supported by a rhythm section that offers a boot-stomping backbeat.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 13, 2015

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