Sometimes it pays to write for an alternative publication. Salt Lake City’s raucous and raunchy Vile Blue Shades—providers of some of the best regular touring spectacles seen in Zoo Town—offer the latest example. Their new EP, released by local label Wäntage USA, is essentially a concept album about a penis. Specifically, the title comes from author Henry Miller’s pet name for his privates in Under the Roofs of Paris. Song titles on the vinyl release include gems like “Purple Onion,” “Black Pussy” and “Exceptional Whore.” Let’s see how the Lively Times handles that in a review.
But sex aside, John Thursday thrives for getting VBS back to what they do best: funking out. Their last studio release, We’re Here, We’re High, was more catatonic than experimental. Fans of the band’s live shows—which feature (at least) 11 members constantly switching instruments, and one dedicated go-go dancer—will recognize a lot of these tracks as the ones that work packed dance floors into wicked frenzies. Heavy on riffs from the band’s (at least) three guitar players and ever-building beats from (at least) four different percussionists, nearly every track reaches, ahem, climax. This still ain’t equal to a visceral VBS live show—how, really, could it be?—but John Thursday comes damn close.
The Vile Blue Shades play the Badlander Saturday, Sept. 20, at 9 PM with Japanther, Wolfs, Victory Smokes and Bacon and Egg. $9/$7 advance.