Ecca Vandal Ecca VandalThis is no ordinary record: it’s a territorial claim. If the bloodthirsty agit-punker rage drenching Ecca Vandal’s opening three tracks set the prevailing tone, your speakers would still be dust.

But it’s so bold, assured, and musically literate, that genre means nothing. Opener Your Way speaks volumes: rhythm, dissonance and voice. Broke Days, Party Nights features the greatest scream in music since Bon Scott mugged bagpipers in Swanston St, while The Price of Living sees Vandal going toe-to-toe with Refused legend Dennis Lyxen. Largely co-written with producer Kidnot, there are no easily-ticked boxes on this 12-track missile from the Sri Lankan (South African raised/Melbourne domiciled) performer.

All music is up for grabs, and her vocal chops star throughout. Future Heroine channels nasty trip hop – even ragamuffin in places. Cassettes, Lies and Videotape is the fulcrum, a sky-high showcase of Vandal’s muscular flow, an effortlessly contemporary screed of complaint against a 24/7 world. Elsewhere, Your Orbit’s intergalactic nu-soul (with Sampa the Great) proves irresistible, before Cold of the World (cue: lovesick lone wolf drives into sunset) essays an anthemic peak.

Ecca Vandal is that rare artist imbued with an unwavering conviction, born of an intimate knowledge of complex self-reality. Procure this soulful riot, play hard, play again.

Ecca Vandal is out October 20 via Dew Process/Universal.
Jonathan Alley

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