Review – “Hydromorphone/Let’s Stay Dead” – Vulva Culture

a2213292170_16reviewed by Jack Derricourt

Vulva Culture’s new Craft Singles 7″/cassette release is Halifax’s answer to my Sunday afternoon.

This is entirely personal, and not altogether fair: today as I stood waiting for the King streetcar, at Spadina, an older man with a cane suddenly dropped to the pavement, hitting his head. Three very capable people proceeded to call an ambulance, hold the man’s hand, and stop his head from bleeding out onto the sidewalk. I stood there, numb to the whole thing, apart from wanting to make sure his belongings weren’t stepped on by his charitable attendants. Later, riding back to my neighbourhood, away from the poor man’s concerned wife and son, who had returned to the scene, I felt like a lead weight had been stuck to the back of each of my eyeballs, and my outlook on the world had shifted. Things seemed a little colder somehow, while also feeling richer at the same time.

Yep, you can see where this is going. Vulva Culture create melancholy music, sometimes so mournful it makes you smile. The whirring chorus effect on the guitar in “Hydromorphone” is a haunted sound wave, a weeping lick, fit to shake apart as you slowly dance to its sound.

Both A side and B side jingle with lo-fi aplomb. Compared to earlier releases by the group, these sound more Craft-like, which is fine. But the songs really benefit from white noise and the space scratching between instruments.

“Let’s Stay Dead” sounds like a song sung in Twin Peaks that didn’t make the final cut. Amy Vinnedge’s lyrics are as sweet as a blue flame, while the rest of the band delivers hearty twang and tempo — Bianca Palmer’s drums particularly shining on this track.

I keep waiting for Halifax music to get boring. It hasn’t happened yet. Vulva Culture have made good with this newest single. Maybe they’ll soothe your crying heart, like they did mine.

Top Track: “Let’s Stay Dead”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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