already dead tapes & records



Pure Vanilla

October 13th, 2018

Artist Location:
St. Louis, MO

“About fifteen years ago, a couple of my neighborhood friends and I decided we were going to cut a tree down using only a hammer. It wasn’t a big tree, and it took us about a week to do it, but we did it, by God! ‘Pure Vanilla,’ Complainer’s newest release, brought me back to the intensity and pure adrenaline of that moment.

If one is familiar with Already Dead, then it really shouldn’t take much convincing here. Joe Hess and Mabel Suen. Drums and guitar with a splash of saxophone. Absurdly good at their respective instruments. There are only so many ways to say “these songs slap harder than anything else I’ve heard this year.”

Three hits of the hi-hat, a kick, and a snare kicks off ‘Pure Vanilla’ in style, and the ball doesn’t stop rolling from there. “Cardboard” slugs away with a riff so brilliant and energetic that it could loop infinitely with no objections from me; one of those sounds that makes a person want to yell with pure jubilation. This quickly transitions into a punker’s delight with “Fuck Droid,” which has a phenomenal music video, if that’s your thing. “Vanilla” has to be the standout track on this album. Though Suen’s vocals add a huge deal of power to each track, the sludgy, pounding chaos of “Vanilla” transcends predictability with the addition of the saxophone. ‘Pure Vanilla’ is a short album. The song “Vanilla” could last for thirty minutes and it would be interesting the whole time.

Vanilla is generally a term used to describe something bland or unoffensive. However, have you ever had real deal vanilla? Pure vanilla? That shit’s good! And so is this!”
-Jacob Watkins, Already Dead Tapes, 2018

Cassette Edition of 100