There’s definitely a sense that Vladimir are starting to get noticed and new single ‘Smoke Eyes’ will definitely help that not least because of the band’s choice of iconic cover as a B-side.
First up though their own song on the A-side. ‘Smoke Eyes’ continues the band’s move away from the gothic magnificence of the earlier material into something leaner and more focussed.
With its propulsive, insistent guitars Smoke Eyes’ is perhaps not a million miles from early Interpol. But whereas ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’ was shot through with NYC cool, Vladimir instead substitute something grittier, something more like real life.
It may also be the first Vladimir song to include what sounds suspiciously like a lyrical hook (in the shape of the refrain ‘Why did you steal my sha-la-la-la’), another clear sign that Vladimir are continuing to head in a direction that will earn them wider recognition without sacrificing any of their individuality.
The B-side is a cover of Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’ – a song that the band have featured in their live set for the past 12 months or so.
By emphasising the repetitive nature of the song, they deconstruct it into something distinctively their own not least because they’ve omitted the songs main ‘lager, lager’ hook.
In its place is a troubling sense of foreboding which is never resolved. There are sections where Sam’s drums build apparently as a set-up for some guitar catharsis. But the tension is never released leaving the piece as an exercise in frustration.
Vladimir release the single on 7th April with and support it with shows at Broadcast in Glasgow (Thursday 3rd April), The Green Room, Perth (4th April), Cellar 35, Aberdeen (11th April) and Dundee at the Cool Cat Club on the 12th with support from Naked.
An Edinburgh launch follows in May at Sneaky Pete’s 11th May whilst the band also play the Artrockers New Blood Festival at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen in London on 20th June.