Jan 202010
Authors: Ian Mahan

Rarely do bands ever make a name for themselves by producing a sound that is completely unique. Most bands can be related to another band that preceded them, but Vampire Weekend is a special breed of band.
They don’t sound like anyone, let alone themselves.

After the success of their 2008 self-titled debut, the New York-based quartet returns with “Contra,” the highly anticipated follow-up filled with all of the quirky instrumentals that fans have come to expect.

Of course the highbrow diction that littered their first album is still abundant.
The first track on the album, ‘Horchata’, is filled with steel drum tidbits, and the band employs absolutely no use of a guitar in the song.

“Cousins,” the first single off “Contra,” couples a fast-paced drumbeat with off-time guitar riffs and a glockenspiel, which accompanies the near surf rock-inspired flow.

“Diplomat’s Son” features an electronically produced beat and a high voiced piano track, reminiscent of a lullaby.
Though it’s hard to skip any tracks on the album, “Contra” calls into question if Vampire Weekend can brave the void of creating music that sounds different than the style they’ve created.

Or maybe all they know is thesaurus-based choruses and an elite, almost preppy, sound might alienate the less educated.

Either way it seems prep rock is here to stay.
Music reviewer Ian Mahan can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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