Long-awaited debut release doesn’t disappoint
Hailing from the highlands of Scotland, indie trio Vistas have been climbing up the ranks of UK rock bands for the last couple of years. Backed by an aggressive touring schedule and an energetic live show, the trio of Prentice Robertson (vocals), Dylan Rush (guitar) and Jamie Law (bass) have transformed from a nerdy group of school friends to a sought-after live act. An appearance on BBC’s Radio 1 and several prominent opening slots have given the band an ever-growing audience. One thing Vistas didn’t do, though, was release an album: instead they built their following by putting out a steady stream of singles (as well as one EP). Several years in, though, the long-awaited debut album, Everything Changes in the End, is ready to drop.
According to the band’s Spotify bio, the members originally got together by bonding over a combination of punchy indie acts such as Two Door Cinema Club, and garage rock bands like The Strokes. It’s pretty apparent upon the album’s first listen that both influences are given ample opportunity to shine. The production is sleeker and more similar to modern alternatives, but the energy of the songs definitely screams early 2000s.
Some of the songs are less-than-subtle callouts to a specific band, something which succeeds for the most part. “Retrospect,” one of the oldest singles the band has put out, is a carbon copy of Neon Trees, all the way down to the handclaps before the chorus. The title track has a chiming guitar line that screams Walk the Moon. Other obvious influences that can be heard throughout the record include Young the Giant and the early work of fellow Brits Arctic Monkeys.
That being said, there are some influences on this album that weren’t as obvious, from Fountains of Wayne-level power-pop hooks on “Suffer,” to a synth-guitar combo reminiscent of Motion City Soundtrack on closer “Stranger.” The song where Vistas manages to successfully combine everything into a concoction uniquely theirs is on “Tigerblood,” another 2018 throwback that combines an angular guitar riff with a spacey ‘80s keyboard line; and contains the most garage-rock energy on the whole album.
Overall, Vistas have combined everything they love (as well as a few surprises) into an enjoyable listen. Though they still have to figure out the difference between channeling influences and imitating them, the songs themselves are good, and Vistas have a great foundation on which to build.