Vukovi – Fall Better (VKVI)

Fall Better is supposed to be the moment vocalist Janine Shilstone becomes a rock star and lets people know that their ‘crazy’ is okay. It’s like your mother putting on Kiss face paint, a Gene Simmons mask and giving you a cuddle while Slipknot plays in the background.

Vukovi have gone dark and off the deep end with their second record. This is a dark album and they aren’t afraid to let you know it. But it also means this is real – the Scottish mob have never been afraid to go straight for the feels – and this is more than just exposing gaslighting boys or bad relationships. This digs deep.

Any album that starts with a disclaimer about how good it is needs to deliver the goods, but the ostentatious arrogance suits Vukovi and they don’t disappoint.

When the album launches into a song as strong as Violent Minds you know things are going to be okay. The band call it a schizophrenic vocal production and it’s hard to argue with the architects of their own beautifully messed up and twisted hard pop rock.

This was a record designed to wrestle with the mind’s inner demons and it has a dystopian, Big Brother feel to it. The two interludes make it all seems like a game – a Saw style situation – sandwiched between these massive hooks and synths.

Vukovi’s first album was good without being consistently excellent, they’ve corrected that here. There might not be the standout riffs of La Di Da or Boy George, but that’s because the level of the rest of the record has been raised.

Aura, C.L.A.U.D.I.A, All That Candy and Run/Hide all combine Shilstone’s perfect voice, laced with a Scottish lilt, and their synth laced pop-rock guitar riffs that deliver on the promise delivered in the first few seconds of Fall Better.