Friday, February 7, 2014

REVIEW: Vaadat Charigim - The World Is Well Lost

Vaadat Charigim are a Tel Aviv-based trio consisting of Juval Haring, Yuval Guttman and Dan Fabian Bloch. They've just released The World Is Well Lost, a big-sounding album with an English title that is sung completely in Hebrew, with rhythmic and guitar approaches that will be familiar all over the world. According to them, their music is "a blend of 80s Israeli underground rock with a more European Post-Punk sound". Not being familiar with the 80s Israeli underground, I would place this band at the intersection of post-punk artists Swervedriver and The Lemonheads. Haring's vocals are reminiscent of Evan Dando's, but the overall approach is a lot heavier - along the lines of Swervedriver - heavy, but catchy and plenty engaging.

There are accepted labels that certainly apply to this music - shoegaze and psychedelia for sure, but it's bigger than any one genre. The album is completely enveloping - in a way, it's like drowning in a sea of guitars. Vaadat Charigim are committed to singing in Hebrew, but that should be no obstacle to any fan of guitar rock. In fact, once you figure out how to pronounce "Kezef Al Hamayim" (pretty much the way you'd expect, but with a "hard h"), it is almost impossible not to sing along to the chorus.

Here's "Ze Beseder Lefahed", translated as "It's Okay To Be Scared" - a sentiment not lightly expressed from a band who practices in a bomb shelter:

Here's a video for "Lehitorer Velo Lada'at" set to footage edited by Yotam Wax from a 1979 animated video made by Israeli artist Dudu Geva:

Here's "Odisea", a longer, completely satisfying track with long instrumental breaks:

And their most recent video release, "Ein Nehama Ladoachim":

Like my other favorite Israeli band Rockfour, these guys take some engaging guitar rock influences and make the sound their own. Where Rockfour was heavy on the guitar jangle, Vaadat Charigim play a much heavier sound... but they still make it catchy and, in places, interweave acoustic and electric guitars behind Haring's hypnotic vocals. The record was produced by Kyle "Slick" Johnson (Modest Mouse, Wavves, Cymbals Eat Guitars) and recorded by the band in a south Tel-Aviv apartment. The initial release was of a cassette (November 12 through Burger Records), with a vinyl release in late January via Warm Ratio. Internationally, it's available via Israeli label ANOVA (CD/digital).

They will be playing SXSW and a few other US dates in March - their first time over here.

3/13 Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest Official SXSW Showcase (Hotel Vegas)
3/15 Austin, TX - Burgermania III at SXSW (Hotel Vegas)
3/16 Hot Springs, AR - Valley of Vapors Festival
3/17 Indianapolis, IN - Joyful Noise Records Space
3/18 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
3/19 Cleveland, OH - Mahall's
3/20 Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
3/21 New York, NY - Piano's
3/22 Brooklyn, NY - Silent Barn

In short: if you like guitars, this album will make your day.

Vaadat Charigim Facebook
Burger Records
Warm Ratio
Anova Music

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