This is a weird thing to describe. Not only because it was released on tape (VHS tape, of course, because Betamax sucked) with videos, but also because it’s only four tracks, but, man, this are some really apocalyptic songs.
At first it seems that The Fierce & The Dead are post rock, but it takes a few dissonant notes on the EP opener, ‘6666’, to understand that these fellas are more June of 44 or Shipping News than Explosions in the sky. The sheer brutality of On VHS reaches flash point just as soon as ‘Hawaii’ kicks off. 4 minutes of heavy chugging, with some flat surfaces on that hill so you can catch your breath. The best of these areas of respite is the Luau bit, where the bass reassures us that all is a-ok. Hey, even the guitar seems to be going lap steel on us! And yes, it ends very, very peacefully.
‘On VHS’ not only displays a very ace (and sexy) bass line that steers The Fierce & The Dead through seven seas of rum, whisky and rye. The band even drops some jazzy stuff during a freak out in the middle. This track is the most unnerving of the EP and it’s simply fantastic. Sadly, the bass is keelhauled somewhere. Silver lining? The guitar takes command, so maybe the bass stuff was played by Captain Bligh.
Random. I know, but “random” also is what ‘Part 3’ will be. Mixing slower bits that smoulder, the track then does a few arabesques, twirling itself with loads of swagger for the rest of the 7 minutes of this song. On VHS is only 21 minutes of pure, un-adultared instrumental rock. A keeper for you wanting something with riffs, chops and a lankier physique with two spools.