Dublin, County Dublin
There’s a fine tradition of Vans in music: Van Halen, Van Morrison, Vanilla Ice… On the screen too: Van Damme, Van Dyke and of course the greatest cinematic badass of them all, Mr. Lee Van Cleef. As a band, Van Cleef are built on too much TV and not enough sleep, on rock guitars and pop hooks that could take your eye out. Formed in the ‘V’ section of a second-hand record shop in central Dublin in 2006, their common affection for the upbeat pop of early Blur, the acoustic-punk of the Violent Femmes, and the hard rock of Guns N Roses began to produce a flood of 3-chord 3-and-a-half-minute songs celebrating their pop culture obsessions, with titles such as ‘Meet Me in Vietnam’, ‘Scarlett Johansson’ and ‘One of the Cosbys’.
The release of their debut EP ‘No Shame’ in late 2007 led to increased radio play, good press reviews and a higher profile, with Irish and Turkish tours following, as well as high-profile support slots including playing with The Damned on their Twisted Cabaret of The Damned tour. Increasingly confident shows continued across Dublin and Ireland, helping to refine the songs and road test them with growing audiences. Towards the end of 2008, they were ready to enter the studio again and work began with Marc Aubele (Jack L, Jinx Lennon, Bell X1, The Walls) to record a set of their 12 strongest songs. The end result is the first full-length VC album, entitled 'Supervillainesque', which was released on Friday, May 29th to a rapturous reception in The Village, Wexford Street, Dublin.
Further upcoming shows to support the album include upcoming festival slots alongside a full Irish tour and European dates to follow over the summer, culminating in the release of ‘Prince’ as the first single in late August.
'Dublin's Van Cleef definitely mean business... Their debut album - a 12 track blend of hook laden, power pop, played with a dirty rock edge - bursts into action with 'Meet Me In Vietnam', a driving riff, coupled with the brash attitude of Feather's vocal swagger. Overall, the record hints at a number of differing influences. 'One of the Cosbys' is a definite nod to classic Americana; 'Scarlett Johansson' could've been an Angus Young/Joe Strummer collaboration, while 'Wolf Tickets And Rules' evokes the spirit of classic REM. Made for the stage, Van Cleef can seriously cut it live. Check it' - Connected Magazine
'Twelve slices of uptempo and melodic underground rock...like a more hook laden Pixies with hints of garage pop, indie rock and melodic grunge rock' - Road Records
'Just what a recession needs!...packed full of bright sing-a-long harmonies. If you're feeling under the weather, forget Fitzcaraldo or Astral Weeks, play this album to get you going again' - 2 U I Bestow
‘Mighty enticing heavy pop’ - Jackie Hayden, Hot Press
‘Charm laden indie pop’ - Captain Sensible, The Damned