The band, consisting of drums, guitar and a bassist, who also played samples triggered via a laptop, provided a solid, loud and raucous cacophony for the diminutive Melbourne singer to rage over. The style of music is an extremely unique and seamlessly blended mixture of hard rock, courtesy of the pounding drums and crunchy guitar, hip hop, referenced in the sampled sounds and occasionally vocally, and punk, thanks to Vandal’s fierce and energetic vocal style. This vivacity is also manifested in her stage persona: just as the music never stays mellow for long sections, neither does the singer remain static, as from the very beginning of the set she danced across the foldback with ease, locking eyes with the crowd and inviting them to get into it with each pointed wave of her limbs. And damn, she can sing. The songs were packed of so much stylistic and dynamic range, and Vandal’s vocals were at the centre of the sonic maelstrom, a tiny figure in baggy clothes with a voice that could fill the room, at times even cutting through it.
Without the audience being familiar with more recorded work, the 40-minute set was a good length, and both White Flag and Battle Royal were delivered faithfully, although neither of those songs show the depth that some of the others displayed. The final track, Father Hu$$la, was the set standout, with drum and guitar samples being filtered and effected to give a trip hop feel while the band stayed tight and heavy and Vandal moved from softer melodic singing to rapping on the hook. With so much packed into one song, the effect was exhilarating and confounding, a great representation of overall sound.
Taking into account this was Vandal’s sixth performance ever, some perspective is given to the sophisticated nature of the track construction and arrangement, the band’s already in-place live chops and sonic palette. See Ecca Vandal on a small stage while you can.