Mystery Mini Mix is a shiny new feature dredged up from somewhere within the collective imagination of the WTD crew. Basically, we’ve made a huge list of song prompts (eg. Song with a colour in the title) and are getting our favourite writers and music people to curate a list of songs according to the randomly-assigned prompts they receive. It’s then up to them to craft their very own ‘EP’, and if they want to write a little bit about their choices then that’s cool too.

Since releasing their debut album, In My Dreams I Am A Sailor, back in 2012, Brooklyn three-piece Vassals have remained relatively quiet, popping back only to put out the snappy, sarcastic festive EP Here We Come A Vassaling in 2015. 2017 will see that change, with the band set to release a brand new EP, Halogen Days on Post Fun. The release, which came into being as the “dark half” of a “dichotomous project”, is an altogether more serious effort, with the press release promising “four songs of bleak beauty, chaotic minimalism and conflicted rage… frantic but muted, morose but unpredictable… drift[ing] effortlessly from slacker-rock ambivalence to post-punk cynicism to huge walls of fuzzing noise and heartbreaking harmonies.”

Sound good? Well lead single ‘SoHo’ certainly backs up the slacker-rock ambivalence side of the description, a bummed-out, off-kilter slice of garage rock that simmers with frustration and anger without ever quite managing to fully break through the spiritless numb. The result is like a face screwing and scrunching behind a blank mask, perhaps even screaming silently, all in the hope that someone on the outside might recognise the strife and intervene.

“I wanna feel alright.
I’m faded, dematerialized
Swimming in a sea of light,
I’m swimming in a sea of light
I’m floating on an awful high”

Song with a colour in the title

Metallica – Blackened

This was the first thing that came to mind. There are certainly many way better songs involving colors, but I fucking love Metallica* and I don’t care who knows it. Plus it’s sorta funny choosing the absence of color.

*forgetting everything that happened after 1990

Song that reminds you of someone special

The Allman Brothers – Blue Sky

Anytime I hear this song it makes me think of my dad, who’s probably the sole reason I started playing music in the first place. The Allmans are pure joy and Southern Rock at it’s finest.

Song that reminds you of your favourite video game

Primus – Jerry Was A Racecar Driver

This song will forever and ever remind me of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Primus kinda rules. They were the first truly weird band I got into. Plus, bass playing bandleaders are much too scarce.

Song to soundtrack your Hollywood biopic

Foe Destroyer – Strut

Appropriately named, to me this song feels perfect for walking around the city and just taking it all in. I think it’s really just the bouncy-ness of the guitar part and general playful vibes. For some reason any song that I can blast while cruising in the car or walking around in the city feels soundtrack-worthy and this one is my current go-to.

Song from at least ten years ago

The Beatles – Yer Blues

I figured The Beatles had to make it onto this list at some point. This is one of the very few songs we’ve ever attempted to cover and it’s super fun to play. The recording has always been a treat, you can hear John’s original vocal bleeding into the drum mics but it’s masked just enough by the overdubbed version to make it an easter egg of sorts. Plus the overall darkness of this song pairs well with our new EP.

Quietest song you know

Leapling – Crooked

Maybe not the quietest but I’ve always liked the feeling of intimacy of this track and album in general. Leapling’s recordings do a great job of feeling really close and immediate while still maintaining a “band” sound. Runner up: The Can’t Tells – Lonely Guy.

Song that makes you want to smash things up

Converge – Dark Horse

Man, this was a toss up. Since I already used Metallica on another question, I had to go with my other heavy music favorite, Converge. What can I say? I’m originally from Boston, where there’s a long standing tradition of aggression.

Halogen Days is due for release on the 7th April via Post Fun and you can pre-order it now from the Vassals Bandcamp page.

Photo by Jeni Magana