Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vanaprasta Unleashes New Rawness With G-

VanaprastaWhen Vanaprasta first debuted a three-track EP last year, the experimental rockers led by Steven Wilkin were notable for their light, airy vintage sound. Forming The Shapes was a breathy, soothing, and quietly near-indie rock pop release. This year, these Los Angeles-based indie rockers are bringing something more to the table.

Their upcoming album, Healthy Geometry, is more indicative of their brooding and blood-stirring live performances that alternate between sublime and sultry. Since they came together in 2008, their newer work shows how an otherwise unorthodox quintet has come into their own, with smokier, emotive vocals and more challenging arrangements.

The unpredictability of the sound carries itself throughout the album and within each new song as the band moves from smooth to smokingly aggressive guitars and back and again. If the critics thought they had something to talk about with Forming The Shapes, then the full LP will easily turn their heads later this year.

G- leads off the diversely intriguing LP Healthy Geometry.

Nothing could better illustrate the point than their bluesy psychedelic scorcher G-. The song defies genre and sticks deeply with its slurred guitars, suggestive lyrics, and multiple climaxes. It's salty, but even more so when it's cut to vintage untamed pinup shoots that add extra fire and brimstone to the set.

Although the LP isn't due out until September, Vanaprasta has been trying to build up some pre-preorder buzz by leaking singles available for free downloads on their Website. If you like what you hear on Skinny State and Minnesota, then you can always order an early 7-inch vinyl edition for $4.99.

Of the three the band is pressing right now, G- is a must have, followed closely behind by Minnesota, with its rich and unmistakable Pink Floyd influences. Minnesota also showcases Wilkin's vocal control, with the lyrics sometimes whispered, roared, and belted at various parts of the track. Skinny State is also worth it, even if it is uptempo and jazzy, much closer to but more emotive than Forming The Shapes.

The band gives a hand to finishing touches that made it more raw.

According to the band, some of the rawness in the upcoming album is due to their last studio session. In fact, guitarist Collin Desha said Minnesota and Skinny State were two of three tracks that wouldn't have ever been released without such influence.

"They ended up taking our record and bringing all the tones out of the mic with this amazing room sound," said Desha. "The result was us immediately sounding bigger, trashier, and much more raw."

Along with Wilkin and Desha, Vanaprasta also includes Taylor Brown on bass, Cameron Dmytryk on guitar, and Ben Smiley on drums. Those are only their principal positions, as the band members frequently switch up keys and samplers.

G- By Vanaprasta Smolders With A 6.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

If G- and Minnesota, in particular, are any indication of the direction Vanaprasta is heading this year, the band will easily garner some well-deserved attention. It's great to see the musicians play dirtier, longer, and more aggressively while Wilkin unleashes his voice without any restraints like we heard last year.

You can pick up the previous three tracks on Forming The Shapes via iTunes. For a sampling of free downloads, including G-, head over to the Vanaprasta site. The band also has several other packages available for fans to catch up on their work. They are currently booking one show at a time this summer so check back often for live performances across the West Coast.
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