The short format is perfect for Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies. The band’s charm, aside from its crafty pop hooks, has long been its psychedelic glee club aesthetica super-peppy and often cartoonish obsession with candy and bright colors. But it’s also been one of the band’s biggest drawbacks in terms of long-player potential because, when it comes to items like candy and bright colors, a little bit goes a long way. Too much can make you sick.
In the pragmatically titled EPIIa follow-up to the band’s Holidays For Quince-released EPIthe Lovely Lovelies are tighter and more refined, though the fuzz in their psychedelic pop remains intact. In fact, if anything, this effort is more tense and less twee than EP I. “Technicolor Electric,” especially, goes deeper into the hallucinogenic haze than the EP’s other four cuts. It dissolves into a thick swarm of synth buzz and acid-washed slabs of wah-driven guitar before recoiling at the end to evoke the rubbery bass, handclaps, xylophone and keyboard bop of its beginning.
As the title suggests, “Applesweet” goes in the other direction. Perhaps more than any VVLL cut yet offered, it’s the most twee, capturing the beach-party camp and uninhibited pop spirit that the band has made its trademark since it began. Front woman Amanda Brooks enunciates every syllable like she’s at a choir recital: “I wanna be the one you keep,” she implores, politely.
Indeed, her guitar is the only thing remotely rough around the edges, as her band backs her with oohs and aahs as sweet and cushion-y as cotton candy. It’s a sugar buzz of a pop song, for sure, one that’s indicative of the band’s oeuvre to date.
I just wonder if, after more than this generally delicious second helping, we’ll be left with a toothache. At least this serving’s fun-sized.
Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies play Slim’s Friday, Aug. 7. The 10 p.m. show costs $5. Billy Sugarfix and Gross Ghost open.