The Vics – Fourth and Clay / Proud

Indie rockers The Vics return to the spotlight with a pair of swaggering new singles this spring that show off their versatility as a band perhaps better than any of their previously released material has. In “Fourth and Clay” and “Proud,” this Pittsburgh-based foursome display a swaggering knack for generating addictive grooves inside of effervescent, experimental rock tunes that borrow as much from the avant-garde side of the spectrum as they do conventional music theory.

The Vics have never been one to go for the status quo, and they stay true to their ethos in both of these tracks, which jettison as far away from traditional hooks and predictable lyricism as two songs can go without completely devolving into blunt, inaccessible eccentricities.

Fourth and Clay” is tightly arranged but musically very lush, espousing a staggering rhythm that drunkenly sways from one side of our speakers to the next while maintaining a pendulous, churning tempo. Instrumentally, this song is a bit more elaborate in construction than “Proud” is, but it doesn’t eclipse the spirited energy of its counterpart in the least.

Unlike a lot of similarly stylized indie rock tracks that utilize pointed basslines as a means of driving the pace of the music, The Vics go out of their way to keep their low-end in check here, allowing for the sizzling lead guitar parts to really colorize the song around the 2:15 mark. It’s a meticulously crafted piece of music, but it doesn’t grind with the same robotic march that has plagued popular rock in the 2010s with plainness.

Proud” is a lot more exotic, building up the tension in the room on the whim of an ominous guitar strumming that is seasoned with an almost Latin-inspired hesitance in the tempo. This song is defined by its glistening vocal track, which washes over all of the instrumentation in the background and gives it a buoyant, optimistic tone in the face of its elegiac structure.

Were it not for this careful layering of the vocals inside of the complex master mix, I think that “Proud” would be a lot more somber in tone than it ultimately is in the form that it’s presented to us here.

The Vics are masters of their medium, and this song captures just how skilled they are at weaving the mood of their lyrics into the melody of the music framing them.

Few bands are making the sort of impact that this group is in alternative rock at the moment, and I would even go as far as to say that The Vics are one of the few acts really shaping the identity of the genre in 2019. Their sound is unique and stylish, and more importantly, it doesn’t lean heavily on the model of past rock bands with equally ambitious ideals behind their music.

Although there’s no shortage of really inspired indie groups raging against the mainstream machine right now, The Vics have a certain timelessness in their work that makes songs like “Proud” and “Fourth and Clay” so much more accessible to fans of all ages than what the bulk of their commercial peers have had to offer in recent times.

If this is the caliber of content that we can expect out of them in the future, then I don’t plan on missing out on any of their upcoming releases – and you shouldn’t either.

If you enjoyed Fourth and Clay, give The Vics a like on Facebook by clicking here & a follow on Instagram by clicking here. Pick up their music on Bandcamp by clicking here.


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