Vampire Weekend "Vampire Weekend" Review

Originally on on February 15th, 2007.

Ahhh… Internet hype. How many times do you have a read glowing reviews of a band on various music blogs only to find the band actually sucks? Too many. And unless you’ve been living under a rock (or don’t read online music publications), you have no doubt seen such reviews of Vampire Weekend. Thankfully, these guys don’t suck.

Much of their hype was due to their phenomenal online demo they put up last year. That hype got them signed to XL Recordings, earned them opening slots for some indie rock giants, and even a performance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

The band's self-titled debut is almost identical to that demo that made their name, only with one extra song and fuller arrangements; not that that’s a bad thing. The record is tight and cohesive, fun and catchy, and a plethora of other positive adjectives.

The band’s afropop/new wave/preppy indie rock sounds undeniably fresh. There isn’t a single band that comes to mind that sounds even remotely like Vampire Weekend. But that’s not to say they are too strange or weird for the casual listener. Everything is simple, straightforward, and instantly likable. The opener “Mansard Roof” sets an upbeat atmosphere that carries on throughout the disc’s run time. The collegiate “Oxford Comma” comes next, and is undoubtedly the best song on the record. The lyrics are not only easily relatable, but also perfectly capture what the band seems to be about. The rest of the record goes by in a flash, and without any weak tracks or filler.

Despite how good this debut is, it’s not without its faults. The album is short, ridiculously so. Coming in at only 34 minutes, it almost could have been an EP. And during those 34 minutes, there is very little variety. Every track sounds similar to the last, and few tracks have much to distinguish themselves. The band figured out what they do best, and stuck with it, which in its own way could be admired.

Vampire Weekend seems to have lived up to much of their internet hype, and in many cases, exceeded it. Their self-titled debut is sure to propel them far beyond pretentious indie rock blogs.