With a band name like Flying Vaginas, it’s no surprise that the band members carry such aliases as Well Worn Banana (guitars, vocals), Disappointed Kiwi (bass, vocals) and Angry Pineapple (drums, synths). But this Italian trio’s debut album, And That’s Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (2014), demonstrates the seriousness of their dedication to the music they create and pulls out all the stops you’d imagine a true shoegaze band would. It leaves the listener with a sound similar to Yo La Tengo, My Bloody Valenne, Yuck and The Babies, to name a few.
On the album, the common thread is that everything is coated with that airy, almost synthec distorted feel of shoegaze that always sounds like the mixer slightly tweaked the sound with a light smoky wind sweeping across the instruments and vocals. As Distorsioni puts it, “It comes out of brilliant, cerebral pop, reverberated from the game of balance between light and shadow, by a clever use of the tuning and distoron even with classical and minimal instrumentation.”
The album starts oﬀ with “Wake,” a solemn, fuzzy track with whimsical vocals that float gently over slowly shining synth chords that give the whole piece a heavy feeling you can sink into a cozy chair with. But the feeling doesn’t last for long when the next track, “Happiness and Flour” takes over with bouncy percussion and a bright guitar melody. The vocals are sll dreamy and ethereal like wispy cirrus clouds passing overhead, and the fuzz continues to hug each note that comes out of every instrument. Both keep the track grounded in shoegaze while toying with elements of indie rock as well.
Flying Vaginas may be irreverent as a concept, but the music they create couldn’t be revered more as they’ve carefully spliced together every layer of sound on this album. Listeners get a complete feel of the sheer emotion and force behind these musicians’ passion for the music they create, and this debut opens up the gates to exciting possibilities for a hot new Italian band making a name for themselves in the national scene.