If Arctic Monkeys were to have a child with The Cure and it was raised by Joy Division, the chances are it might be Voodoo Bloo. Based in New Zealand, the foursome is known for punchy, hard-hitting music. Not only that, but their performances are also outstandingly energetic engaging with audiences on a higher level. Featured in Clash Music, Less Than 1000 Followers, Dead Good Music and various playlists, Voodoo Bloo have a strong following across the globe. The latest addition to their critically acclaimed discography is ‘Small’.
The first single from Voodoo Bloo, ‘Small’ adopts a more contemporary rock tone as compared to previous material. Following ‘Skin’, ‘Small’ highlights an evolution in Voodoo Bloo’s sound reaching out to more modern-day vibes. Yet, this does not mean they have left the old-school post-punk influences behind, merely tinged their sound with 21st-century alternative rock influences. I shouldn’t compare bands, but I hear flits of something like Fall Out Boy throughout ‘Small’.
Yes, definitely an evolution in sound, however, you can be sure to experience the same power from Voodoo Bloo in ‘Small’. Pounding drums merge effortlessly with dynamic guitars and Rory McDonald’s bold vocals creating a fast, fierce song. Tossing you into a sonic whirlpool, you find yourself twirling about uncontrollably when listening to ‘Small’. The thing is, while there is a franticness about the song, the lads retain a smooth melody in their rock.
The entire melody is endearing but I think the vocal execution brings that “oomph” to ‘Small’. McDonald’s gruff voice is superbly backed by Daniel Maslen’s guitar, Oli Cass’ bass and Jackson Kidd’s drums; however, the layered effect isolates its obscurity making it prominent. Another element I find endearing or rather intriguing is the song’s exploration of Peter Pan Syndrome. The change in sound aligns with, as McDonald explains, “…growth into a person and the distance it’s created from memories long gone.”
Sincere and tender, but with a contemporary grittiness, Voodoo Bloo turn my head and leave me with chills with ‘Small’.