The Vatican Cellars - The Same Crooked Worm

by Katy Ledger Rating:6.5 Release Date:2010-11-01

The Same Crooked Worm is the perfect soundtrack to this dark and dreary winter morning on which I find myself writing this review. The Vatican Cellars forlorn songs are a mix of sweet melodies, mournful strings, inconsolable lyrics and delicate harmonies, all shrouded in the cloak of death and despair which makes it sound quintessentially English.

The Vatican Cellars, named after the Andre Gide novel are a five-piece hailing from Oxford, London and Orange County. They've branded their music 'folk-noir' which sums up quite nicely the fragile folk mixed with Nick Drake style darkness that The Vatican Cellars have produced. Imagine the heart-on-sleeve sincerity of Arcade Fire and then imagine that they were forced to practice with their parents asleep in the next room and you wont be too far off.

There's a morbid obsession with death that creeps throughout this album and with lyrics like, "what did I find out/nothing I didn't know/everything dies/It's nothing special". The track 'Nothing Special' is so intensely hopeless, it will probably prove too draining for some, but for me, it, along with the equally desolate 'End of the Line' sums up the mood of an album that is extremely melancholy but equally pleasant enough in the melodies and harmonies to get away with it. It's a tad too one-dimensional to be a brilliant album but it makes for a nice listen. If you're looking for an album with which to while away the winter months pondering the cruel nature of life then The Same Crooked Worm* is for you.


*Not suitable for anyone who has yet to confront their own mortality.

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