Pop Rock | Pop Metal
I first began listening to the Scottish pop-rock group VUKOVI shortly before the release of their self-titled debut back in early 2017. This first album really excelled in showing us who the band were, and really brought their unique blend of styles to the forefront, while simply being jam packed with captivating and engaging bangers. This album impressed me enough to even find a spot on my top albums of the decade, and it was definitely safe to say that I was highly excited to see where the band would go from their debut.
If this is the first time you’ve been made aware of VUKOVI, the best way to describe them would possibly be a fusion of Paramore and Biffy Clyro, with a few electronic elements thrown in for good measure.
Fast-forward to the very beginning of 2019, and the teasing for their sophomore project Fall Better began. This was made apparent with the first teaser track “C.L.A.U.D.I.A” which I enjoyed just as considerably as a lot of the tracks found on their debut album.
Understanding that the band had face a few changes in their formation, I admittedly set myself up with a few anxieties that the depth of the music on Fall Better would be a bit more limited. And while the general depth of all five teaser tracks was still solid enough, I still feared for how the whole album would compare with the first. After how much I loved that first album, I reckoned that VUKOVI had some big boots to fill. As a result, I played it safe by not setting my expectations too high.
All of my worries and low expectation that I set up, however, was instantaneously quashed by just how phenomenal Fall better was when it was finally released. Starting off brilliantly with a tense tone-setting intro which transitions perfectly into my favourite of the five teaser tracks, “Violent Minds”, and keeping a consistent grip on the same raw energy that made their debut so enjoyable.
And while i would say that many of the tracks already sound as iconic as anything from the first album, Fall Better has something that I feel the debut hasn’t; a far more realised theme and aesthetic. The material found on the album definitely seems to come from a place of trauma, but the lyrics work to confront such supposed traumas, which gives the overall album an incredibly triumphant feel.
A very minor criticism of this album though, would be that the placements of some songs left me a little puzzled. I was certain that “Run/Hide” would’ve worked fantastically following the interlude “Verify Your Worth”, and I also felt like “Play With Me Cos I Can Take It” would’ve paired nicely with “White Lies” as they both sound similar enough to be sister songs of sorts.
The fact that Fall Better managed to surpass one of my favourite albums of the 2010s is certainly enough of a triumph, but Fall Better is truly deserving of bringing the band even further into mainstream popularity. VUKOVI have really pulled out all the stops on this magnificent album, and it is so far my favourite listen of 2020.
Favourite Tracks: Violent Minds | Play With Me Cos I Can Take It | Where Are You Now
Least Favourite Track: Aura