The Vigilance Committee - Exit A Hero (Cover Artwork)

The Vigilance Committee

Exit A Hero (2015)


The Vigilance Committee hail from New York’s Long Island and make snappy, sophisticated alt indie-punk. A tight-knit four-piece who originally formed as a rock outfit, longtime friends Peter J. Scoma (guitar), Christian Cepeda (guitar), Phil Corso (drums) and Jesse Asch (bass) quickly realised they had more to offer than straightforward rock and these days they serve up a jittery cocktail of clambering guitar riffs, snarly vocals and unpredictable rhythms. It’s raw but refined, musical but maverick, fast-moving but smart. Part Smashing Pumpkins, part King Crimson, with a smattering of The Mars Volta.

Opening track “Set The Pacific On Fire” tells the story of 19th century gold rush journalist James King of William and showcases the band’s talent for both swagger and songwriting. If you listen carefully enough there are even shades of Reinhold Messner-era Ben Folds Five in the layered vocals and minor-tinged, hypnotic melodies. Other highlights on the album include the alternately soaring and choppy “186,” the contemplative “Expositor” with its ringing guitars and mournful lyrical lament “truth dies," and finally eponymous album closer “Exit A Hero” with its patient introduction, circular riffs and vaulting harmonies. At times, with their constantly shifting grooves, baffling time signatures and sharp, intricate musicianship, the band even venture into Weather Report territory.

So, while their name may make them sound like a government organisation, The Vigilance Committee are anything but mundane. This is ten tracks’ worth of creative, grunge-inspired alt-rock that warrants multiple listens.