Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band
On March 10th, a promise from big brother to little brother will be realized. Benjamin Verdoes (vocals, guitar, percussion) hoped to motivate his younger brother Marshall to push forward in his drum lessons. Once Marshall got good at drums, Benjamin vowed, they’d start a band together, and now-13-year-old Marshall would have naming rights. That promise is officially made good with the release of Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band’s self-titled debut full-length. Co-produced by Scott Colburn (the Arcade Fire, Animal Collective), the album at first blush recalls Wolf Parade; the band’s frayed melodic sensibilities and Benjamin’s urgent, driven vocals in particular. Of course, Wolf Parade borrowed a few ideas from Modest Mouse, whose beginnings were indebted to the Pixies. This is the sort of musical lineage that creates the foundation for Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band’s debut LP. But Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band are not solely inspired by their contemporaries; dig a little deeper and strains of Queen’s over-the-top epic rock peers through, while exhilarating guitar work that nods towards Thin Lizzy appears in more than a few songs.