New record from Plague Vendor is infectious

IT HAS taken seven years for Plague Vendor to make the follow up to their debut album Free To Eat – but they say Bloodsweat is worth the wait.

“It was just the way it happened,” says singer Brandon Blaine. “We recorded the first album in 2009 and put it on Tumblr for free and then it got an official release later in 2014.

“It gave us time to work on Bloodsweat, so those songs have been properly road-tested! The sound is definitely tighter, a lot thicker and sharper. They’re also longer…”

Brandon’s not joking, either. Some of the tracks on the California rockers’ first album are less than a minute long – most are shorter than two minutes.

But it’s all about the quality and they have honed their sound, although influences as diverse as At The Drive-In, The Cramps and Joy Division are still slightly noticeable.

Plague Vendor’s live shows match their raucous sound and frontman Brandon – who invariably ends up shirtless fairly quickly – has been compared with early Iggy.

“I do have a lot of energy on stage,” he says. “It’s just how I am, although I think throughout the years I’ve learned how to harness it and use it better, so I don’t blow it all out in the first two songs.” It’s no surprise when he says: “I do this because I have to.

I started performing when I was 16 and I dropped out of high school and just dedicated my life to music and performing.

“There’s pretty much nothing else I want to do. I’ve had other jobs but this is what I want to do.”

So, there’s no fall back plan? “I don’t think about it. This has to work.”

For anyone heading to one of their gigs, he adds: “People should expect the unexpected. Whatever you think it is, forget it. Just come along with an open mind and wide eyes… and have a drink in your hand.”

Plague Vendor are in the UK for a month before heading home to tour with The Refused, and they hope to return to our shores for some festivals in the summer. And a third album could already be on the horizon.

“We’ve already started working it,” laughs Brandon. “And I have a title ready… but I can’t tell you what it is, yet. Hopefully it won’t take as long, but when it’s ready it will arrive and it will be great.”

Plague Vendor will play at the Boileroom in Guildford on Wednesday (20 April).

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