‘We spread communism by the gallon of gasoline.’
It could be a quote from the German militant group RAF but it is the first line of Vanguard, the second album of experimental rock band The Sedan Vault. This new record shows a developed group that goes beyond the usual punk and rock influences. Vanguard has got groove, harmony, songs and punch line lyrics.
Although The Sedan Vault did not lose its hardcore edge, the band has spent the past two years to come up with a richer sound and better songs. The beat is groovier, the guitars are smarter and arrangements vary from electronics to dark brass and Eastern violins. The vocals are more melodic while the lyrics contain catchy phrases. Vanguard is not a second Mardi Gras. The new album combines influences from both old school artists like Philip Glass and The Residents, and new sounds like The Mars Volta, Battles and Klaxons, which gives Vanguard international character.
When it comes to lyrics, each song is a chapter of a film noir or a crime drama, dealing with schemes, strategies, motives and the rise and fall of a twenty first century arson gang. To vitalize this cinematographic scenario, several spoken word scenes have been recorded, including guest appearances of Belgian rock icon Arno Hintjens and producer Wim Janssens. Besides them, several visual artists have gotten excited about the project. Dave Decat for example, who has designed several worldwide campaigns for Carhartt, asked the band to write a detailed story board for him to base the artwork on. Photographer Danny Willems, known for his collaboration with TC Matic, Arno and Front 242, came up with the idea of a crime scene like photo shoot, trying to capture as much of the Vanguard atmosphere as possible. In March this year, the Vaults have already been given the opportunity to present this new material in an after show of The Mars Volta at the Ancienne Belgique Club in Brussels. The legendary AB also invited the band to be their Artist In Residence (01.09.08 - 31.08.09) - abconcerts.be/nl/projecten/p/detail/artist-in-residence
The Sedan Vault are certainly not new to the Belgian rockscene: since the release of the debut album Mardi Gras, the band has had more than their share of airplay, reviews and interviews in both papers and crucial internet-magazines. All this resulted in a nomination for a Zamu-award (best song 2006), four weeks in the Arriba!-list, and a number 1 in the Puur Belgisch-charts (Jim Tv) for three weeks.
Most of all, The Sedan Vault is known for their wild, energetic live shows. And that pays off. The past few years they played Pukkelpop, Dour and almost every Belgian club such as Ancienne Belgique, Vooruit, Hof Ter Lo, Soundstation, STUK and Muziekodroom. Besides club shows with bands as Death Cab For Cutie, The Mars Volta, Minus The Bear, Nada Surf, Hermano, Helmet and Coheed and Cambria. Next to shows in France, Switzerland and Luxembourg, they were invited to the Netherlands to play the renowned clubs and underground festivals State-X/New Forms and ZXZW. Abroad they shared stages with Sonic Youth, Mono, The Datsuns and Face Tomorrow.