Formed in the summer of 2011, Vassals are a Brooklyn three-piece and a fixture of the NYC DIY scene. Originally an outlet for the bedroom rock of Shay Spence (vocalist/bassist/transgirl), their sonic potential was boosted by the addition of Jon Smith (The Can’t Tells) on drums and Jeff Fettig on guitar. The trio gained acclaim for their frenetic live shows and soon set off to a cabin in New Hampshire to record their debut LP, In My Dreams I Am a Sailor in 2012.
Save for a handful of shows and 2015’s festively furious Here We Come a Vassaling EP, things have been a little quiet for Vassals over the past few years but 2017 sees them return with the Halogen Days EP, the debut release for the fledgling Post Fun label. This darker and more unpredictable material sees Vassals realising the potential that was always so evident on their previous outputs. Self-recorded by the band at their hometown studio, The Creamery, in Brooklyn and with Spence herself contributing the artwork, this record is the result of complete creative control.
Halogen Days offers four songs of bleak beauty, chaotic minimalism and conflicted rage. The material here is frantic but muted, morose but unpredictable. The songs drift effortlessly from slacker-rock ambivalence to postpunk cynicism to huge walls of fuzzing noise and heartbreaking harmonies. Half-muttered and half-screamed, there’s a quiet anger that’s present throughout this record with so much substance beneath its skin. With a full-length LP on the horizon, Halogen Days sees Vassals returning fully formed with a sound and style entirely their own.