Do a Google search on "Vera Fang" and you won't find much about the Atlanta art-punk foursome whose debut 7-inch is out this week on Army of Bad Luck. You will, however, be asked if you meant to search for fashion designer Vera Wang, who's known for her signature gothy, frilly wedding dresses that are defined by their fairy-tale qualities. Wang's dresses accentuate the same dark, womanly drive of Vera Fang's sound, but as a metaphor it's a skewed reference where all puns are intended.
The lineup, which features vocalist Zopi Kristjanson, guitarist Jeff Cook, drummer Shane Patrick and bass player Sunni Johnson, concocts creeping punk songs oozing with threads of hidden narratives that never form coherent story lines. Their songs are bestowed with a lot more tooth and claw than Wang's dresses, and are filled with a raw and unsettled energy that's anything but tailor-made for the good life.
"Zopi came up with this idea of the flip side of Vera Wang as some kind of monster woman," Johnson says. "It fits with the band because most of our songs are about fantastical things and narratives."
Throughout the 7-inch, songs such as "Conscumption" and "Neon Neverland" piece together references to Willy Wonka, radical feminism and various other streams of consciousness, but a clear explanation is not part of the design.
At three-and-a-half minutes, "Herd" is the longest number on the record. Thunderous bass rhythms are counterweighed by Kristjanson's yapping and distorted vocals in a tussle between visceral rhythms and high-energy punch that propels each song with solid, danceable grooves and disparate tales as compelling as they are perplexing.
To hear a song from Vera Fang, click here.