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Brooklyn denizens and alternative rock band Vaureen’s founding members Andrea Horne (vocals, guitar, songwriter) and Marianne Do (bass) met while working as cogs in the machine of a digital agency in 2011. They bonded over similar tastes in music, the desire to use music as a creative outlet, and a need to escape the office cubicle environment.
After adding drummer Cale Hand to the line-up in 2015, Vaureen self-released its debut EP, Dirty Floor. The band was then invited to record a single at Converse Rubber Tracks, and while the members laid that down, they also started shaping the other two numbers that appear on second EP, Violence, which came out in December 2016.
Violence is a more experimental EP than the band’s debut, with each song morphing into a different stylistic entity than the previous one. Loping EP-opener “Tough Guys” is a gritty blast of psych-rock with a distorted, on-high guitar line weaving around the ringing bassline, slammed drum beat, cymbals scintillation, and Horne’s fervently exclaimed, doubled vocals. The thickly reverberating guitar line planes through the turbulent drums ‘n’ cymbals atmosphere, ascending to the lowering clouds while Horne emphatically shouts, “Hold fast to this picture / See if it stays true.”
Grimy grinder “Evil” stalks menacingly through a mire of sludge rock noir (OK, maybe the ‘noir’ is redundant). Distorted guitar immolation, bottom-heavy bass, a driving drum beat, and smashed cymbals agitation create a dystopian aural landscape for Horne to grungily trudge through as she exclaimed in a pained tone, “Forget everything that you’ve tried / You’re a slave to your disguise / Evil is regret…”
Vaureen gets expansive on the epic shoegaze post-rocker and EP-closer “Before The Rectangles Take Over”. Horne’s twinned harmonizing vocals lift up to the sky amid the stretched-out ambience of low-key, detuned guitar buzz, a subdued drum beat and sporadic cymbals hits. The simmering guitars gently increase in intensity as the song moves along, riding high on Horne’s dispassionately drawn out vocals. Horne intones in a downcast register that there’s, “No sleep until it’s over”, intimating that the battle, and the violence, and the cost of conflict, whether of a personal nature or in a global sense of culture clashes and divisive politics, is far from being over.