There was a small batch of Grafton Records releases sitting unreviewed in the darkest corner of my bookshelf, so now it’s more than an appropriate moment to revisit one of them. I am not sure if this CD represents a split release, a collab or it is both. It seems like a split release, although some compositions are unquestionably collaborations. On one side, we have Andi Camp, a prolific singer, songwriter, and bass player in many emo/indie/post-hardcore bands such as Stella, Underside, Ribbon Fix, The Brightest Comet, Temper And Hold, and The Holdout. Besides all the activities related to the beforementioned bands, she’s also operating Grafton Records. On the other side, We’re From Japan!, is another outstanding group that nurtures similar sound aesthetics to the remainder of the Grafton roster. Unfortunately, there’s not so much information about this band on the web. The only thing I stumbled upon about them is that they published several releases in just four years.
You Are The Vehicle consists of five compositions, two from Andi Camp, two from We’re From Japan!, and one collab track. Andi showcases the sound you could expect from her at any point in her career. Lion’s Den and Hailstorm offer clever combinations of emo and indie rock music, soulfully crafted and performed, empowered by Andi’s crystal clear chants, arpeggiated chord progressions, and vividly hearable basslines. Maybe these songs have a slightly faster tempo than most classic emo and indie tracks, so their paciness unquestionably contributes to the listening experience. We’re From Japan! offer To Temple Grandin and All At Once, two numbers that gradually lead the listeners into a classic mid-nineties emo ambiance. Still, these tracks carry all the properties of instrumental post-rock compositions due to reverby guitar themes, heavy riffs, robust low-end tones, and profoundly dynamic beats. They also serve as a nice contrast to Andi Camp’s side of the split.
For the perfect closure of this excellent split, Andi and We’re From Japan! decided to cover I’m On Fire, one of the greatest hits by Bruce Springsteen. However, don’t expect this composition to sound any close to the original because that wasn’t their intention at all. They decided to incorporate some new ideas into the song, so this version sounds innovative, fresh, and perfectly fits the rest of the tracklist. You Are The Vehicle is still available for purchase, so head over to Grafton Records and also make sure to check out the remainder of the catalog.