With their debut record “Very Sorry”, VERMONA KIDS have unapologetically shook things up, revealing ne of the most interesting Polish alt indie punk bands to keep an eye on. Joining a string of 90s inspired bands that rather than having not found their niche, simply refuse to settle into one, the four-piece takes a healthy dose of alt/grunge sensibility and seasons it with their blend of anthemic vocals and power rhythms that can’t quite be described as a modern reinvention, but takes the listener back to some of the wonderful memories from the past. And even putting aside all the comparisons, the album succeeds in blending together its most prominent aesthetics in to what’s arguably one of the most engaging and ear-catching rock debuts of the year. We asked the band to give us some thoughts on each and every track from the record and here’s what we got.
Recorded at Perlazza Studio with producer Przemek Wejmann (Woody Alien, CF98, HOLDEN AVENUE), mastered by Dave Downham (Into It. Over It., Beach Slang, The Jazz June) at The Gradwell House in New Jersey / Featuring guest appearance of Marcin Buźniak (Setting The Woods On Fire), Dawid Kudyba (Fueling The Fire) / Front cover photo by Sam Grabowska / Graphic project by Krzysztof Prusisz / Print by Nikodem from ANC Drukarnia.
“Very Sorry” is a blend of dynamic emo post punk and breezy indie, at times heavy, loud and earnest, but also melodic, nostalgic and intimate.
01. – / 02. [A Famous College Movie Quote]
This is definitely the first song I used to make a simple vocal take for the band to see if we’re on the same page. I recorded it very poorly in my car, shouting to my mobile phone voice app at night… and who knows why nobody got the idea of what I tried to show with that. Later the reworked home demo was probably enough to convince them, though I guess it all stayed the same, even the original self-deprecating lyrics, which were actually written “on the spot”. The song almost wrote itself along the melody in my head, and it turned out to be about being doubtful and resentful, but also being ok with that feeling, awaiting some sort of solace.
Wrote most of that in my car. It was the second and the last demo we made in a more fleshed out form before completing the album. Another resentful song as it seems, although it might as well get you thinking of coming to terms with some of your past, which is quite relatable and simple. The word “North” itself is brought out in the lyrics to serve as my personal concept of closure, on top of being a reference to a 2003-ish album I really loved.
04. The Cheap-Piped-Music Kind Of Empty
Recorded some of those lyrics as a voice memo while I was actually in my bathtub for too long. Felt pretty strong about calling back to a given date, which could make sense only to myself and maybe by chance to the person in the story, and that’s about it. It’s very personal and random at the same time, mostly driven by sparse turns of frustration, but taking more focus on a single moment, which now feels quite important and maybe sort of hopelessly romantic (which is rather new to me and fun to experience, too). Also, instantly liked the different, slightly darker tone of the song when I first heard the instrumental.
The first thing Monika [bass] showed me while we were in Berlin with a bunch of friends, probably far before we would even talk about working on it together, I remember I liked it from the get-go and it’s still my favorite. The opening line came to me very quickly and I wrote all of it vaguely describing two or three connected moments and conversations around it. I was excited and I think I really wanted to add more guitar layers to the song, but eventually happened to record only a few guitar parts on the album with a shitty broken wrist of mine… which might be ok, seeing as in that moment it could’ve started sounding too much like my other band. The cover photo for the single is also my fav, and what’s funny, for quite a long time I wasn’t aware it’s an old picture of someone I actually got to know in the real life playing some shows together.
06. In Different Rooms & In Bloom
Definitely a process and a somehow-tired-song about a difficult stage within a strong relation, where you’re pretty far away and not sure of anything. What I thought was mostly fueled by angst and frustration while putting this all together, turned out to become the closest to my first love song, I guess. It still does contain some of the nicest words I’ve ever written, and I laughed at the fact that the guys in the band were quite surprised by that premise. I was also happy it smooths out the whole album in a way, having the loud/quiet dynamics resembling Manchester Orchestra or mewithoutYou, though I’m sure it wasn’t intended when the band pre-wrote the song before I started working on it as well.
For a moment I wanted to put that song on the back burner and skip it till some next time, I nearly couldn’t manage to finish my vocal lines on time. I think I had less than 10 days to write all of my remaining parts outside of the two previously completed demos, and eventually I wrote the words on the train to Poznań (the night before our studio session began). This song felt different, with a sort of punk rock attitude, and Marcin [guitar] had already written an idea for the chorus, which I left as it was and played with the concept of the title that he was also fond of. In the studio it was the first time that I sang the words out loud for a trial, and Krystian [drums] wanted to keep the first take as the final one, which was really both, funny and flattering. I almost went for a Hot Water Music or Beach Slang vibe with that one, but I’m probably not capable of doing anything alike, however, I was really happy a few different people told me some of it sounds like Sunny Day Real Estate, which goes beyond my expectations.
08. A Drifting Heart
I sang the outro, which was actually mostly written by Marcin, and I think I wanted to keep the first half with no vocals at all, but nobody seemed to like that idea in the studio. I instantly started writing more words while staying the night on my friend’s kitchen floor, which I really enjoyed, but all the lyrics I wrote for the song were very cynical and judgemental, it was almost a bit weird to hand them over for somebody else to sing it in the first person as well. We obviously did that anyway, though Marcin [Buźniak] reworked some of the lines and made it a bit more respectable and pensive. I was really glad how it all turned out, seeing as I always loved Setting The Woods On Fire on top of all of the elements here. Pretty cool there was a chance to join forces for the first time!
09. Small & Humanlike
Not really a standard song, which is usually what I really enjoy. Despite my broken hand I had a chance to record more noodly guitar parts for that one, which was painful and slow, but kinda alright. To be fair, I just didn’t want to give up on that. It’s definitely about being desperate and broken, longing for some changes, but not being too self-confident about it, I guess. I like the production on that one, and I was quite happy and surprised to hear my brother call some of it sounding like Sonic Youth.