There’s a lot more to Ireland than U2 and Whisky. Irish rockers Vesto Varro has a sound so dynamic and solid with lyrics so fresh and original they’re bound to take over North American airwaves in the same fashion they already dominate their native land.
Their debut album Exit Here has already produced two top 40 hits in Ireland, and their third single “ Weighted Love” will be released October 19. Though they thrive in their home country, they’re currently facing a problem many international bands face: North American distribution.
Vesta Varro, completed by bassist Rod Smith, guitarists Keith and Peter Forde and drummer Shane Lee, is doing it right – after flying in from Ireland specifically for the festival, they played the Reverb on the 9th, the Drake on the 11th, the Global Village Backpackers Hostel on the 12th and the Indie Week finals on the 13th. If things go according to plan, VV may be returning to Canada soon to do a tour with Mobile.
If the crowd at the Drake is any indication, Canada loves the five-piece ensemble’s unique sound. Drea was an intense and enchanting performer, winning the audience over with his charisma and use of unusual instruments like xylophones, cowbells and tambourines. They were a fusion of influences, drawn from the Cranberries, U2 and the Smiths, played with the energy and conviction of an aggressive punk band.
Part of their solidity can be linked to their work with Grammy award winning producer Richard Rainey, renowned for his work with U2. Recorded in the famous Dublin recording studio Windmill Lane, Rainey’s work on Exit Here helped shape and define VV.
“Working with Richard was a brilliant experience. At that point we had a lot of songs but were at different degrees about the sound we had. He really showed us more of a direction, more solid and more focused,” Drea said.
Their album, as brilliant and polished as it is, does not do justice to their live performance. They take over their venues, turning them from dark bars into amphitheatres and giving you no choice but to watch them and fall in love. Their songs are just as well suited for rock venues as bedrooms, and come equipped with all the hype and strength of any mainstream powerhouse.
“We’d like to think we’re slightly different than what’s going on in Ireland,” said Smith. “It’s very much just guitars, no electric. It’s nice because it’s something different. Ireland itself is more guitar based, it’s not rock, its more indie.”
This is a band you don’t want to miss. Despite lack of a North American release, they’re being picked up by radio in LA and compilations in the U.S., Germany and Australia. Until then, free downloads are available on their Myspace page. It’s only a matter of time before Irish modern rock is known for more than U2 – and Vesta Varro is the perfect band to add that dimension.