title of CD; The Fatal Duckpond
by; VRIL
on; ReR Megacorp


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Vril: The Fatal Duckpond


After a six year hiatus, the surfer meets punk meets guitar band Vril have released their second album entitled The Fatal Duckpond. The band includes Lukas Simonis (guitars), Bob Drake (bass, guitars), Chris Cutler (drums) and new member Pierre Omer (guitars). The band plays a kind of instrumental music firmly entrenched in a classic surfer style but touches on other genres such as punk, jazz, blues and a touch of avant-garde to give some of these songs an eclectic edge. It is interesting to note the music is quirky yet accessible which is somewhat surprising considering the list of bands on their collective resume include Henry Cow, The Art bears, Thinking Plague and Pere Ubu.


This release is the soundtrack to the movie of the same name. I have not seen the movie and can only comment on what has been written in the album’s liner notes, courtesy of Frank Key. On those who have not yet seen the movie Key states “the listener is probably better off not having to sit through hours of bad acting, blurry visual effects, gruesome smudgy charcoal burnings, blank screens, hectoring rants from unseen crew members, and still shots of daffodil-strewn fields.” Funny to be sure, and one wonders if the music contained within carries the same joke. I can assure you this is not the case, but you get the feeling these gentlemen do not take themselves too seriously. There is some serious musicianship on display but there is a playful, quirky and somewhat charming quality that comes through loud and clear. The album is composed of fifteen songs, all short and concise and not long enough to wear out their welcome.


The album starts strong with “Duckpond” one of my personal favourites with its jangly rhythms, melodic guitar and an absolutely irresistible melody. There is a definite 60s vibe here, as there is through much of the album. Think of a modernized version of The Shadows, with those classic western style guitar lines. Muted guitar chords begin the dreamy “Beppo Gets Crunched” featuring another head sticking melody and just enough quirkiness to give this a sound all their own. The beginning slidework in “The Desparate Twins” has a bluesy feel soon followed by a galloping drumbeat and classic Spaghetti Western twang all wrapped in melodic bliss. And so it goes for the rest of the CD.


Chalk full of interesting rhythms and nice melodies, this one came as a nice surprise. If the music of The Shadows and related bands floats your boat, I can safely say The Fatal Duckpond should be to your liking.


 Jon Neudorf

Presented as the soundtrack to a non-existent film, everything about this little disc is slightly askew in a lighthearted kind of way. The second collection of guitar instrumentals (remember that genre?) from Bob Drake, Pierre Omer, Lukas Simonis and Chris Cutler sounds oddly familiar, mixing influences from across the universe of rock guitar. It had me frantically searching my memory banks to recall just which bit of which record certain passages resembled, and I laughed out loud quite often too. Tunes invariably start off in a naggingly familiar way, but then twist themselves into some odd shape and re-arrive (or not!) back where they began. For example, the lead track “Duckpond” has a melody that you might think you know, but it dips out of it’s mnemonically assigned path almost immediately, catching you off-guard.

“Beppo Gets Crunched” is very Frith-like at first, then goes rapidly through psychedelic metal into reverbed surf meets Felt atmospherics. “The Desperate Twins” features slight feedback and far-off slide as an intro before Cutler’s galloping toms signal another catchy melodic line. The b-part is Duane Eddy supplying the music for a spaghetti western. Similar to Naked Eye in their genre-switching, though not quite as jarring from one section of a tune to the next. “A Base Knave Behind The Arras” is a sick little waltz, and “Casa Incognita” a country-ish twang-fest with cartoon handclaps. “Albino Hen Coop” is a personal favorite, and perhaps the tune that sounds the least like some other band from the past.

The only drawback I can find with this recording is the possibility that it’ll have you (like me at first) trying to assign influences instead of just listening. When you do get around to doing that, you’ll smile.

Jeph Jerman 2009-11-04 www.squidsear.com





FANTAASIA: 05-08-2009              

Tiit Kusnets

VRIL – Gone with the Window (00:52)

Lukas Simonis – arr. VRIL (ReR Megacorp, 2009)

CD: The Fatal Duckpond www.rermegacorp.com
Genialistid – Mehed on metsas (03:35)

Tauno Aints (demo, 2006)
Augustus Pablo – Jah in the Hills (03:17)

H. Swaby (Island, 1987)
VRIL – Duckpond (02:41)

Lukas Simonis – arr. VRIL (ReR Megacorp, 2009)
VRIL – Why is the King Grunting? (02:15)

Lukas Simonis – arr. VRIL (ReR Megacorp, 2009)

Muzyka Ucha Trzeciego
Henryk Palczewski – Radio Broadcast

09.09.2009 – 15.09.2009

1. EMBRYO – “Freedom In Music” Schneeball 2008 – 13:12
3. Moshahadivision 5:01
4. Alphornsaga 4:11
11. Safima (excerpt) 4:00
2. VRIL – “The Fatal Duckpond” ReR Megacorp 2009 – 13:11
1. Duckpond 2:49
4. Bafling Calcium Lantern Light 2:15
7. Casa Incognita 3:04
9. Albino Hen Coop 2:41
11. Why Is The King Grunting? 2:22
3. KOENJI HYAKKEI – “Nivraym” Infinite Records 2000 – 12:07
1. Nivraym 5:39
5. Mederro Passquirr 6:22
4. MUFFINS – “Bandwidth”