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"NYC Artist on the Rise: Vassals lands Pianos residency"

Vassals, a band that has studied at the altar of classic pop songwriting, is back with a new track (called ‘Informers’ - streaming below) that celebrates the possibilities of a warm guitar, a touching story, and what sounds like a drugged out zither.

The song shuffles its rhythms at a level on par with the most bouncy of Vampire Weekend’s tracks (but without even a touch of Cape Cod), while its story seems to take you in one direction only: awkward, adolescent love. The new song is the leading track from their upcoming record slated for later this year. I’m hoping this signals plenty of loud, raunchy guitar solos to come...

You'll have many opportunities to see these guys live in August, since they are having a residency at Pianos on every Wednesday of the month starting from 08.08 - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets) - The Deli Magazine NYC

"Vassals - Informers (All Things Go - music blog)"

Vassals, a relatively new band out of Brooklyn, make no nonsense indie-rock. “Informers,” a cut that premiered on MTV Hive earlier this spring, brings to mind throwback 90s outfits along the lines of Dinasaur Jr. and Pavement, and (most importantly) is utterly infectious. Led by singer Shay Spence, the trio are sure to be one’s to watch moving into 2013. Download “Informers” below and be sure to check them out at Glasslands on July 1st with The Eastern Sea. - All Things Go (music blog)

"Vassals, “Informers” — Song Premiere (MTV Hive)"

Based on a listen to “Informers,” singer Shay Spence of Brooklyn band Vassals needs to get his act together before he ends up on Hoarders. “Box of forgotten paperbacks/a packrat can’t let go/each one held to my nose” he sings over an insistent two-note bassline that brings to mind Spoon with shinier production values.

As the song builds, it becomes clear that old books aren’t the only thing Spence is holding on to. “You took this hand as a prize/now your palms are black and you act so surprised.” Not long after this bitter bon mot, Vassals’ confident strut begins to gallop in to something significantly less restrained. “With all of our recordings, we’ve been striving to do more with less and to create specific spaces,” says Spence. “It was originally written as a slow folk ballad, sort of lamenting the loss of innocence. When we started playing it as a band it took on a different tone. Instead of woe, it actually revels in immorality, like if when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, instead of donning fig leaves in shame, they just smiled up at God and shook their naughty parts around.”
- Mtv Hive


Still working on that hot first release.



What's to be said about a band that can't be said by the music they make? A casual listen brings to mind The Pixies with more clarity, but really Vassals is wondering: what would Nirvana sound like today, when Nirvana is playing in every sports bar of America? Vassals have angst, but it's not their anchor. They're trying to get at something, both lyrically and musically. The words are more than phonetic bouquets to drive a melody. The guitar screams and cymbal smashes are more than Rock and Roll calisthenics. They don't want you to dance, they don't want to be the soundtrack to your special life. They just want you to wake up.

Shay Spence (lead vocals, bass), Jon Smith (drums), and Jeff Fettig (guitar, vocals) share a kinship of band patronage. While going to school together in Boston, they were all members of different acts. It wasn't until they separately moved to Brooklyn that Shay, Jon, and Jeff joined forces. The guys in Vassals share a fundamental desire to make music that's honest, stripped down, and raw.