Vacuum Tree Head - Thirteen!

15 songs
21:10 minutes
***** ******
Pest Colors


15 songs in 21 minutes? Don’t worry, Vacuum Tree Head is not another grindcore band, but something completely different from anything you may ever have heard. The band started some twenty years back, has already written hours and hours of music, released some albums and is now back with their newest one titled Thirteen!. Consisting of core members Jason Berry, Michael de la Cuesta and Charles Lloyd, all playing countless instruments, they are joined by a horde of guests, some of which can be heard in bands like Time Of Orchids, Pak, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Friendly Bears. This name dropping should already be enough incentive to instantly buy this record!

To describe Vacuum Tree Head’s music is totally impossible, maybe “Henry Cow on a rollercoaster ride” comes closest. Their musical approach apparently differs from album to album, but in this case, even changes within their musical miniatures which never make it over three minutes. Sylvia Gordon and Lucy Foley are in charge of the vocals, giving the music something like a thread, although stylistically the collective is jumping into the most unlikely directions: punk, rock, prog, avant-garde, klezmer, Bollywood, atonalism, electronica and much, much more!

The great thing about Thirteen! is that despite there being more styles than minutes, it never sounds disjointed, but rather like one twenty minute long sonic journey throughout music history, in an unbelievably condensed way that would even leave a Mike Patton speechless. Some people might find themselves at a loss with so many things crammed into such a short record, but those willing to take the step will discover that this album might contain more ideas than their entire record collection. If only more bands were such courageous and exceptional!

By the way, once you finished listening, you might want to check out their YouTube page where you can watch a lot of marvellously animated video clips.

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