Vundabar
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Vundabar

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Pop

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Music

Press


"Vice Premiere: Vundabar Are Best Friends Who Make Good Post-Punk"

"It's a thoughtful, post-punk thing with angular guitars and bleeding with hooks" - Vice


"Vundabar Turn Up the Summer Heat on 'Oulala' |SPIN"

"The latest single they’ve shared, the roaring “Oulala,” treads in pop territory, but it also traffics in the band’s signature brand of dynamic shifts. Though it kicks off with clattering drums and punchy guitar, the track’s four-and-a-half minutes are also packed with sing-song hooks, knotty instrumental lines, and a hazy coda that recalls a revved-up Real Estate track." - SPIN


"Vundabar - "Chop"(Stereogum Premiere)"

"Enter Vundabar, an excellent example of the way in which all of the melodic intricacies picked up and defined as the “Boston sound” can easily be repurposed and reordered into pop songs with broader appeal." - Stereogum


"CMJ Video Premiere"

You know those days when it seems like everyone around you is controlling your life? In the video we’re premiering today from Vundabar, Holy Toledo (off the band’s 2013 album Antics), it seems like Vundabar might have an idea of what that’s like. Lead singer Brandon Hagen gets slapped, poked and prodded over the course of the video. Someone puts lipstick and mascara on the poor guy, and if this was the first time he had mascara put on him, he was a champ about it. The video also features shots of the band playing live and generally being goofy. All the while, Hagen wears a dope jacket. Vundabar has also announced European tour dates. Check out the video for Holy Toledo and the band’s upcoming tour dates below. - CMJ


"Vundabar: Boston's Post Punk Wonders"

A three-piece band takes the stage on a cool Monday night at After Hours. It’s more of an afterthought than a proper venue, just a small room, about half full of underclassmen, pushed against the far wall of a Starbucks inside Northeastern’s Curry Student Center, where the smell of Popeye’s wafts in from the food court every time someone opens the back door. The tall, lanky lead singer introduces his crew as they kick into the first song: “We Are Real Estate.”

Over the course of their 30-minute set, the singer, Brandon Hagen, stops a few more times in between songs. “We are a big deal!” he proclaims sarcastically, tearing through a howling garage rock cut that sounds like anything but The Beatles, then asking if anyone has heard their works, “The White Album” or “Sgt. Pepper’s.” After a few more songs and self-deprecating quips, Hagen drops the ruse. “Guys, we aren’t ‘Real Estate.’ We’re Vundabar.”

No one in the audience seems particularly bothered by this revelation, but even if Vundabar may not be a big deal (yet), they’re already a very good one. Along with bassist Zach Abramo, Hagen, and drummer Drew McDonald, friends from Scituate High School, make lo-fi, gut-punching indie rock that’s both propelled by their youthful exuberance and tempered by their half-jaded sarcasm. Last year’s debut record, Antics, showcased their talent for slipping a subversive edge into catchy post-punk jams like “Greenland” and “Holy Toledo,” which ends with Hagen casually musing about taking his own life (“bullet in my brain cause my life’s a cliché”).

“I try to walk the line of sincerity and irony, [of being] earnest and insincere,” says Hagen. “The sarcasm is just a bit of our sense of humor coming through, making light of heavy or dark subjects. I also think satire can showcase emotional content just as well, if not better, deadpanning exactly what you’re thinking. Just cause we’re joking don’t mean we ain’t serious.”

Hagen already has two albums fully written (“a little noisier, a little weirder,” he says) and ready to record, which will happen sometime after their second European tour through France and the UK kicks off on October 20. Beyond that, both McDonald and Hagen plan to return to school at some point in the future, thanks to some revealing experiences on tour. “We got to play a lot of shows with people who you look up to as the bands who made it, and then you meet them and see what it really is like. You have this inflated sense of stability; you think that they are OK, and they’re really not.”

Back onstage, Hagen’s squeezing the last bit of entertainment value from their final song, showing off his guitar skills by breaking into the instantly recognizable chords of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.” Just outside the reach of the Starbucks lights, there’s little activity at the merch table afterwards, the audience having been passive observers for most of the show despite the band’s best efforts. It’s hardly a glamorous hustle, trying to pick up a few new fans already oversaturated with music options on a gloomy Monday night. Still, Vundabar’s product is a hell of an option.

“Music, I love it, but you kind of feel like a jackass doing it. This is all pissing in the wind,” says Hagen, before quickly adding, “but that’s not a reason not to do it.” - Dig Boston


"Show Review: The Districts, Pine Barons and Vundabar @ The Sinclair"

For a young band, The Districts appear far more experienced than a few years might typically allow. With support from Vundabar and Pine Barons, it was as if having hair past your chin was a requirement for taking the stage at The Sinclair that night. The three bands and their fans are all quite young, and overall had the venue packed from the start of the first act, Vundabar.

Vundabar took the stage at around nine o’clock and certainly helped draw the local crowd early, a group of fans that was large but not too rowdy. Though Pine Barons also had the crowd enthused, Vundabar seemed to more noticeably engage the crowd than the following act. For a show with two openers and a relatively late start from the headliner, watching the opening acts perform did not feel like just passing time. - Tastemakers Magazine


"Bass Drum of Death, Thunderbloods, and Vundabar @ Great Scott"

Local artist Vundabar delivered a sweet surf rock set to open the night. Do not be fooled by their youthful pretty boy, shaggy hair over eyes appearance, as the x marked hands of these band members can really do some amazing work with a guitar. The band has a great and expansive range of musical ability that that sets them happily apart from many other up and coming garage band indie rock groups, notably shown from the the badass 60s inspired bass plucking opening and overall feel of ‘Voodoo’ and the impressively large vocal ability of lead singer Brandon Hagen, who was able to perform sad and delicate upper register tones and then dip quickly and smoothly into lower registers. There’s just really something likeable about the band, they are capable of making excellent feel good light rock, but it also possesses a certain rare musical depth to it. Top it off, they also put on a charming live performance, with Hagen pausing in between songs to give the crowd a Miley Cyrus esque tongue hanging heavy in the mouth, to drummer Drew McDonald ending a drum solo with a quick spin around in his chair before hitting the last note. Vundabar’s engaging presence certainly left a mark on me, as I haven’t stopped listening to their album ‘Antics’ since the show (Check out ‘Holy Toledo’ and ‘Greenland.’) - - Allston Pudding


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Vundabar began two and half years ago as a lo-fi recording project shared between Drew McDonald and Brandon Hagen. Since then it has grown into far more. Through an independent release, incessant DIY touring, and home spun PR Vundabar has been able to bring its sludgy jangly pop across the US as well as touring the club and festival circuit in Europe through the french agency 'Koliapov Production'. Notable names they've played with include Mac DeMarco, Crocodiles, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Real Estate, The Districts, Bass Drum of Death, and more. Their sound has been described as a cross between the Pixies and Weezer in terms of dynamics, with the pop sensibility of bands like The Smiths and Blur and the breakneck energy of Thee Oh Sees. The latest LP they've recorded hones in on their strong points of catchy hooks, big dynamics, and raw energy. All of this said the three current members of Vundabar all only range between the ages of 19 and 21, and have little plan of slowing down.

Band Members