vast2

„He’s a preacher, a screecher, an Archie Leacher An artless dodger, a limelight hogger, a dead horse flogger. He‘s the ge- nial game-show host whose mind is toast. The quiz-master with all the wrong answers. The life coach on the National Ex- press. The high-street shaman in the sequinned dress. This is his sweat lodge seminar, his powerpoint aberration, the shot- gun in his shell suit, the seamonkey on his back A burnt-out, blurted-out, beercan-touting carry-out cabaret“.

So who‘s debut solo project is `Grievous Bodily Charm´? Mr Vast of course! Frontman of the self styled `cack music ́ expo- nents Wevie Stonder.

While much of what we may expect from a solo Wevie member is easily found and welcomed amid these highly varied grooves, the real surprise here is that the familiar Stonder brand of absurdism is often tempered by a disarming sincerity. Seemingly knowing parodies of given musical genres or vocal styles are just too well observed to sustain the novelty factor, and instead pass over through homage and beyond into their own extremely unique territory.

There are many moments on this album when the music lulls us into a total sense of false security only for Vast to enter the stage and besmirch the harmonic undergarments, spouting the most unlikely of phrases – “hanging out the laundry always keeps me calm” – and even then, just as we settle into fami- liarity with the Cackmeister’s quotidian surrealism, he quickly shifts gears into Berkeleian subjective idealism, delivered amid the strains of a gentle and reflective summer anthem: “if no- body sees you, are you still a man?”

Featuring the talents of Hector de Guerre, Niko Kratzer and Miss Hawaii, among some more regular suspects, Mr Vast’s first foray into life outside of Wevie has turned up an album of genuine extremes, a musical acid test bound to delight and confuse, one that will worm its way into your secure orifices, win over new audiences and ostracise old fans (and vice ver- sa). A brave leap into the unknown, where second-guessing is futile and surprises lie in store for even the most seasoned of Cack purists.