Jeff's Staff Pick: January 12, 2023

What’s up Sorry Staters?

Even after getting back from my trip a couple weeks ago with Public Acid, it already feels like life is getting busy here at home again. As I’m writing this, I’m simultaneously gearing up for a gig happening in NC tonight. Tonight (which is Wednesday) Scarecrow is playing with Flower from NYC, along with our buddies in Destruct and a brand new NC band called Overgrown Throne. Should be a sick gig. Tomorrow night (Thursday) we’re also playing Flower’s show in Richmond. So where is there time to sit down and wax poetic about punk records? But when duty calls to bang out incoherent ramblings for our weekly newsletter, I’m up for the task!

I feel like I gotta talk about this Vidro record. Vidro is based out of Stockholm, Sweden, but a few of the members are transplants from USA and Brazil. The band’s latest LP Glöd came out in Europe in the earlier half of 2022, but the States are now blessed with a fresh vinyl pressing courtesy of Beach Impediment Records. I was lucky enough to see Vidro live a couple times this summer in a few of my ventures overseas. The first time I saw them was in June at the K-Town fest in Copenhagen when I was there with Public Acid and Warthog. I can’t remember if they played Friday or Saturday, but they played later on the bill and at the time I was more or less unfamiliar with them. The room at Ungdomshuset was PACKED with sweaty punks. As Vidro began to play, the stage was dimly lit and these 4 figures on stage were shrouded in a cloud of mystery. I just remember standing toward the back of the venue and thinking how powerful they sounded. It was intense. Maybe even a little scary. But then later on that night, I was chatting with Tadzio from Golpe over by the merch tables. It somehow came up in our conversation that Staffan, who plays drums in Vidro, also played in Kurt I Kuvös and an incarnation of Headcleaners. Now, me being the Swedish punk nerd that I am, I totally flipped out when I learned this information. Staffan came over to us at some point when we were talking, and I proceeded to punish him for a few minutes about his bands of yesteryear. He was super friendly.

THEN, fast-forward to a month-or-so later when I was in Germany on Scarecrow tour… In Hamburg, Scarecrow ended up playing Vidro’s last gig of their tour. This time, instead of appearing dark and mysterious on a big stage, I got to see Vidro perform in a more intimate and exposed environment. All the bands that night played on the floor of this squat in Hamburg (which I can’t remember the name of). Vidro delivered a powerful performance once again, but intense and convicted as they are, I remember the energy in the room being more fun and lighthearted. But people in the crow did go the fuck off. It was killer. At the end of the night, Scarecrow and Vidro hung out outside by our respective tour vehicles, and we all chatted for a while. They all seemed like super cool people.

And even after all of this, I STILL hadn’t heard Vidro’s new LP yet. Now, having listened to it many times, it’s safe to say that it’s killer. I think Vidro’s sound really stands out. They’re something special, like a breath of fresh smoke. I find Vidro to be pretty unique in the landscape of current punk and hardcore. Lucas the guitar player’s sound is blaring on this record. And I’m not sure if they have chorus on them or what, but the guitars have this wobbly, dissonant, kinda other-worldy effect on them. While the riffs come through clearly, the wash of noise underneath gives Vidro’s sound this eerie and cloudy atmosphere. Almost kinda droney in a way. That said, Lucas and the bass player Melody weave through these kinda slithering riffs that are heavy and nasty sounding, but also incredibly catchy. Like wobbly, slithering ear worms. While I’d certainly say that Vidro is a hardcore band, I would also say they play at this pounding, heavy mid-paced tempo more often than they play ripping fast. Staffan plays the drums with this heavy-handed, straight-down-the-middle kind of attack… almost kinda like 4-on-the-floor but if it were hardcore drumming! No wonder it’s so dancy. Then the singer Vendela just delivers the vocals with a powerful, commanding presence, barked and chanted with such intensity. I remember watching her just kinda owning her space and staring down the crowd while Vidro played in Hamburg. I probably tried to avoid eye contact haha. This record sounds explosive. You can really hear the dynamics and energy in the room. It feels as exciting and has a total vibe as if you were in the room with Vidro while they’re playing. You can taste the blood, you can feel the sweat, you can smell the crusty armpits.

So yeah, check out this record if you haven’t yet. I heard through the grapevine that Vidro might be coming to tour USA in 2023. Look forward to that.

Alright you freaxxx, that’s all I’ve got this week. As always, thanks for reading.

‘Til next week,


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