Review: Vermute – Vermute (Mascarpone Discos, Apr 18)

Spanish rock trio Vermute is an archetypal example of fleeting glory. The band only played three live shows and recorded seven songs, all of which appear on this comprehensive cassette release by Mascarpone Discos, a scant fifteen minute burst of raw creativity. But I can assure you that those fifteen minutes will be some of the most intense and punishing you’ll encounter this year. Vermute brings new dimensions to the recognizable brand of punk-inflected, raving, irreverent noise rock exemplified by bands like Arab on Radar and Ex Models, injecting a sense of breathless urgency and blunt-force hypnosis into their cacophonies of squealing guitars and punching drums. The songs are all pretty short—the longest, “Mig,” doesn’t even quite reach the three minute mark—but the band demonstrates an exquisite penchant for repetition, looping their most schizophrenic, punishing riffs ad nauseam until the listener is lulled (well, more like crushed) into a delirious trance which they may or may not be relieved from by the end. This effect is particularly profound on the aforementioned “Mig” as well as the closer “Falocarpo,” where the incessant recurrences introduce an almost unbearable tension, a sense that the already disjointed music is about to explode into a million tiny pieces.