Melbourne’s RVG have returned with their sophomore album, Feral, and it completely rises the quartet to another level. There has been plenty of quality rock bands coming from Australia these days but where most of TFN highlights from that continent have been psychedelic garage rock, RVG will stun you with their modern day post-punk that is in the same block as the gloomier classic groups Echo & The Bunnymen and The Psychedelic Furs.
Right from the opening track “Alexandria,” you know that RVG are not afraid to make a statement and Feral becomes an instant call to action when frontwoman Romy Vager sings “I just want you to see me, you don’t have to love me too.” These type of potent lyrics fill the record and when they are blended with RVG’s fantastic sprawling guitar – every track shines. This retro 80’s English sound is handled with such a fresh vitality that Feral is just gorgeous all the way through.
RVG really elevate their quality here as they deliver that rare balance where the instruments evolve around the solid songwriting. Even on the lighter “Christian Neurosurgeon” when you hear “I wake up in the morning and open your brain, I go to bed in the evening I get down and pray,” you recognize that the track is sung with such conviction, you just know you have a good record in your hand.
Recorded with producer Victor Van Vugt (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Beth Orton), I feel Feral is a bold statement for RVG. These songs scream isolation but they are raw with melody that brings an intriguing warmth to the songs as they pull the listener into RVG’s perspecitve. Feral only gets better with multiple spins including the over seven minute closer “Photograph,” that turns out to be the perfect ending which just brings the house down. I don’t see Feral leaving my playlist any time soon and should be a record that is added to yours today!
Key Tracks: “Christian Neurosurgeon” / “Little Sharkie And The White Pointer Sisters” / “Perfect Day”
Artists With Similar Fire: Echo & The Bunnymen / The Black Watch / The Wedding Present
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony