‘We spread communism by the gallon of gasoline.’
It could be a quote from the German militant group RAF but it is the first line of Vanguard, the second album of experimental rockband The Sedan Vault. This new record shows a developed band that goes beyond the usual punk and rock influences. Vanguard has got groove, harmony, songs and punch line lyrics.
Although The Sedan Vault did not lose its hardcore edge, the band has spent the past two years to come up with a richer sound and better songs. The beat is groovier, the guitars are smarter and arrangements vary from electronics to dark brass and Eastern violins. The vocals are more melodic while the lyrics contain catchy phrases. Vanguard is not a second Mardi Gras. The new album combines influences from both old school artists like Philip Glass, The Residents with new sounds like The Mars Volta, Battles, Klaxons and Mew, which gives Vanguard international character.
When it comes to lyrics, each song is a chapter of a film noir or a crime drama, dealing with schemes, strategies, motives and the rise and fall of a twenty first century arson gang. To vitalize this cinematographic scenario, several spoken word scenes have been recorded, including guest appearances of Belgian rock icon Arno Hintjens and producer Wim Janssens. Besides them, several visual artists have gotten excited about the project. Dave Decat for example, who has designed several worldwide campaigns for Carhartt, asked the band to write a detailed story board for him to base the artwork on. Photographer Danny Willems, known for his collaboration with TC Matic, Arno, Vaya Con Dios and Front 242, came up with the idea of crime scene-like video clip and photos, trying to capture as much of the Vanguard atmosphere as possible. Willems’ video for Unidentified Flying Subjects got nominated for Best Music Video at Shoot Me Filmfestival in Den Haag (NL) and Internationaal Kortfilmfestival Leuven (BE). To highlight the story behind the album, lyrics were given shape in an animated e-book, designed by Criticus Design. Next to this virtual presence the band wrote a cinematic soundtrack and started to present this e-novel as a live installation combining both word, image, music and internet as one.
In March 2008, the Vaults had already been given the opportunity to present their new material in an after show of The Mars Volta at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Due to that concert, the legendary AB invited the band to be their Artist In Residence. This opportunity gave the band extra credit and attention in the Belgian press. The Sedan Vault are certainly not new to the rockscene: since the release of the debut album Mardi Gras, the band has had more than their share of (inter)national press. All this resulted in airplay, radio sessions (2 Meter Sessie), live concert streams, reviews and interviews.
Most of all, The Sedan Vault is known for their wild, energetic live shows. And that pays off. As one of the revelations of Eurosonic 09 they evolved into mayor festivals such as Pukkelpop (BE), Lowlands (NL), Dour (BE), Groezrock (BE) and started headlining Belgian, Dutch and French concert halls. Next to shows in France, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg, they shared stages with Sonic Youth, The Mars Volta, Front 242, Mono, Death Cab For Cutie and Ghinzu.