Eschewing string sections and predictable harmonies and melodies for a more unique and down-to-earth approach, VPN blur their influences together to create a buzzing, guitar-driven brand of Pop that goes for a lingering hookiness over the quick fix. The tunes on Stars are wonderfully crafted, with vocals that are weighted with emotion, song structures that don't pander, soaring, engulfing harmonies and some wiry guitar interplay that recalls some of the string-workouts Television and Wire used to hustle in their heyday. CMJ magazine called VPN "NYC's best kept secret"; more albums as solid as For Nearby Stars should put an end to that soon enough.
With the always provocative Frogs and locals Philosopher's Stone at the Southgate House on Thursday.
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