Review: Vellhouse - Nyoro-n Demouya

Vellhouse - Nyoro-n Demouya
(Self-Released 2013)

Vellhouse's debut demo is a prime example of an album you can't judge by its cover. Upon seeing the cover art for Nyoro-n Demouya, I prepared myself to take in another helping of sugary pop-punk in the vein of Baby Ghosts or Tiger Trap. The band even chose to themselves as being "cutecore", further conjuring three-chord pop and twee boy-girl harmonies What was emitted from my speakers instead was a major surprise, and a majorly good one at that. From beginning to end, Nyoro-n Demouya gallops ahead with an avant-hardcore ferocity that sounds like the child of Minutemen and Bad Brains. Minneapolis-based three piece Vellhouse seems to be hell-bent on setting Potemkin expectations for their listeners and bursting out from behind them, each time revealing a new layer in their sound and songcraft.

This tendency is most notable on "Bro Team", which at first whirls like a tornado, flinging rapid-fire, tinny lead guitar riffs and clanging powerchords in every direction. The lead vocalist shouts in attempt to be heard over the storm, sounding more than a little like Corin Tucker on Heavens To Betsy's "Me and Her". The heavy winds subside soon, revealing a minimal, vaguely dub influenced song. You can't get too comfortable listening to this demo; there are just too many changes and so much pummeling the listener's eardrums at once to really grab on an take hold of the music. But, when it comes to hardcore, it think that's the mark of a band's success. Vellhouse keep you coming back in attempt to finally tame their frenetic auditory assault, but will elude you each time. Don't underestimate cutecore.