Out of the indie-punk bomb shelters of Birmingham, Ala., came the inevitable union of The Ohms and now-defunct Merge Records band Verbena—purveyors of cult-favorite records that inspired scores of Southeastern kids worth their snot in rock & roll to go off on a fool quest and start their own bands.
The latest Vulture Whale offering, "Glad You Came"—premiering today at Paste—is a ragged-but-right indie-rock ballad with an epic dueling guitar hook. Singer Wes McDonald's vocals channel the sophisticated British sneer of The Jam's Paul Weller, with a slight nod to Mick Jagger, and plenty of his own Southern charm. The whole thing bounces along as if Oasis covering Dr. Dog's "Shadow People."
Vulture Whale's new LP, Aluminium—out May 20 on Cornelius Chapel Records—toggles between dreamy kudzu-covered gems and bombastic riff rockers, an urgent statement of purpose from a band hitting its stride. The record is locked and loaded with heady, brain-clinging tunes—genuine American rock & roll of the Southern persuasion with ample crunch and inspired riffs shot through with Brit Invasion bravado, offering proof yet again why Birmingham and Vulture Whale have earned a place on the indie-rock map.