Vanilla Blue “Sweetheart”

This is the second album from this 90s influenced indie rock band from Saint-Etienne, France. While the album starts on a melancholic note reminding of the French 90s pop punk scene with “Albuzy Wings”, it gets much more exciting with the second song “Pagan Crap” that delivers some cool tight glammy rock’n’roll full of energy. These guys are into SENSELESS THINGS and MC4, it is quite obvious when hearing the guitar melodies and vocal harmonies in songs like “My Precious Friends” (you’ll hear some great Jerry Lee piano in this one) or “Eternal Sunset”. Sometimes early PLACEBO is not that far (“Out Of Time”) but the band also gets into more adventurous Britpop territories in “The Gift”, “You Got To Live” or “Half of Us” and its MANICS vibe. On the other hand, VANILLA BLUE also offers us some sunny pop punk in “Again and Again” and “In an Empty Seat.” The good surprise is the psych-punk tune “Panic” featuring POISON IDEA‘s Jerry A. “Sweetheart” is one of the catchiest songs on here and “Darker Than Blue” leaves us with a post-punk note. Definitely worth checking out! /Laurent C.

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