“Supergroups” can be either completely mindblowing or a bit embarrassing, depending on whether the talent in it works together or tends to wander in completely different directions. In the case of Vicky Cryer, I really don’t know what to make of it.
The band was assembled by Jason Hill, whose own band, Louis XIV, has apparently gone into indefinite cold storage. In at least one case, the recruiting seems to have been done by getting the target so drunk he’d agree to anything just to have peace, or so the victim claims. Yeah, sure, Dom.
Anyway, this little venture also includes bassist Mark Stoermer (The Killers) and two drummers: Alex Carapetis (backing band for Julian Casablancas, ex-Nine Inch Nails) and Dominic Howard (Muse). There’s also a violinist, a saxophonist and a keyboards player, although things get a bit complicated (translation: there have already been substitutions in between recording and the one live gig). Since, all these people are active in other bands, apart from Hill, it seems unlikely Vicky Cryer (where did he get that name from?) will last long with its present lineup.
Quite impressive while it lasts though, even if temporarily removing Dom Howard from the pernicious sartorial influence of Matt Bellamy is clearly insufficient to wean him off his beloved leopard print garb.
I’ve listened to the songs several times and I find them not unpleasant, although personally I find the screechy seventies-style falsetto on Expensive Love does grate a bit. I’ve never liked that singing style. My problem with coming to a final decision over their merits is that I find them a bit too retro for comfort, even though more modern influences are clearly present. I could imagine Franz Ferdinand singing at least one of these songs.
Listen to the 5 songs currently available and make your own minds up. Whatever happens, I wish Jason Hill all the best with his project. I’d dance to that.
UPDATE: Some of these songs are now well and truly stuck in my head, and it’s rather enjoyable. The Synthetic Love of Emotional Engineering is definitely music to, er (eyes the SO apprehensively) smooch by. Yes, smooch. Definitely starts with ‘s’.
UPDATE 2 (13 Jan 2012): Lineup apparently officially as follows Jason Hill, Alex Carapetis, Nick Fyffe (ex Jamiroquai bassist, sadly prone to promoting woo), Jeff Kite (Julian Casablancas again), Dominic Howard and Mark Stoermer. Facebook page here, if you’re into Facebook. Get a proper website, guys
- Louis XIV+Muse+The Killers Supergroup “Vicky Cryer” Turn On The Silverlake Crowd (kroq.radio.com)
- Vicky Cryer [Members of Muse / Killers / Julian Casablancas / Louie XIV] Announce 1st Ever Show (thrillcall.com)