Fearless Vampire Killers
Location: London via Waveney Valley
It takes a frightening level of self-assurance to name your band Fearless Vampire Killers. The name alone will alienate large swathes of potential fans, but that’s exactly what this us-against-the-world (before the world was even against them) band wanted. Their about page is brazen enough, “So yeah, we’re Fearless Vampire Killers, we do what we want and we couldn’t care less”. It’s tempting to say so much for first impressions, but making an impression, albeit a wildly contradictory one, is what this band do best.
The 1967 Roland Polanski comedy horror The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are In My Neck, after whom the band are named, provides a perfect parallel. As a film it was occasionally hilarious, sporadically cringe inducing, impeccably stylish in a knowingly ironically way, and undeniably inconsistent – just like FVK. Sadly, the band tend to be more Ferdy Mayne licking his lips than Sharon Tate in the porcelain tub.
Flitting between the overly theatrically and the overly earnest the band often fall flat in the face of their own fiercesome sense of melodrama. Which is a shame as these boys clearly know their way around a pop hook and a slamming guitar line. They also know how to capture the moment with a screaming sense of urgency, as they produce a series of fleetingly brilliant moments on both “Fetish For The Finite” and “Palace In Flames”. It’s consistency that proves illusive, as they lack both the thematic and sonic cohesion of last year’s divisive Reading headliners My Chemical Romance. In short, Fearless Vampire Killers are having too much fun throwing shit against the wall to worry about making any of it stick.
Still we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss; at the equivalent stage of his career Gerard Way was equally inconsistent and he had yet to discover his ear for a genuine pop hook. Fearless Vampire Killers have a passionate fanbase and a lot going for them, but they also have some crippling flaws which will undermine the band as they join the ranks of an increasingly crowded post-hardcore scene. Ultimately, if FVK want to transcend their current status and make a meaningful impact, they will have to produce the kind of undeniable singles that will make the group imperious to the hate they so willingly invoke. Are they up to the challenge? We’ll have to wait and see. David Hayter
The Buzz: The latest in a long line of ultra-divisive Kerrang bands.
For Fans Of: My Chemical Romance, Paramore, and Black Veil Brides.