Jun 15, 2021
By Hayden Godfrey
Priding themselves on authenticity, global awareness, and insightful lyricism, Ukraine’s Vinok blends indie art-pop structures and gritty grunge instrumentation. Though unnecessarily cryptic and mysterious, their debut full-length album Holy Fool does everything one would hope a self-aware rock album would do with a little bit of an edge.
Rather impressively, VINOK consistently demonstrates an ability to play as a cohesive, tight group, with “Elephant Girl,” “Sinnerman,” and “Shame” among the best examples of this. Elsewhere, mononymous lead singer Nathalie’s voice soars in jungly glory on “Mum” and tender longing on “Friends.” The unexpected drive of “Bring Me Home” and the exceptional vibrancy of “Liar” are also worth highlighting.
Despite its occasional muddyness, the record sounds clean and concise, presumably thanks to mixing engineer Paul “PDub” Walton (Björk, Linkin Park, Oasis) and the elongated two-year period it took to write and record. Yes, some tracks do sound similar to others, but the 11 songs are—for the most part—distinct enough to warrant separation into individual songs.
Geographic intrigue aside, Vinok’s straightforward approach to songwriting and elastic melodies take their arrangements from pedestrian to inspired. Though not groundbreakingly original, Holy Fool is a hard-hitting, energetic garage rock anthology worth turning up. (www.vinoktheband.com)
Author rating: 6.5/10
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