This short piece on the song “Bruise” by a band called Vomitface was originally written for WNYC’s Soundcheck.
In the arms race for vivid band names, it’s long been a tradition, if not an expectation in some genres like hardcore and punk and metal for one-upmanship. For some, the name Vomitface is a doozy — albeit an especially humorous one suitable for a sick burn on the playground, and a perfect fit on a bill alongside a band like Diarrhea Planet. (Someone book this tour, stat!) Still, the moniker mirrors the turbulent sludgy music the Jersey City and Brooklyn-based band creates: Packed with exceptional immediacy that’s hard not to admire, Vomitface’s hefty edge is on full display in the new song “Bruise” from its upcoming EP, Another Bad Year.
“Bruise” is two minutes of abrasive, chest-thumping fury, with Sam Palumbo’s thick distorted bass and Preetma Singh’s thunderous drumming propelling Jared Micah’s crisp and spindly surfer guitar line. Hear how his smirking half-sung, half-spoken deadpan mimics the melody’s downward slope. The song actually manages to get louder as Micah explodes into an unhinged screaming fit that would rattle any cramped DIY space. It’s a bracing and catchy mix that not surprisingly has attracted Steve Albini to record the band’s first forthcoming full-length album, Your Ad Here, at his Electrical Audio studio. If “Bruise” is any indication, that record coming this fall will be one to keep an ear out for. Maybe just put in some earplugs.
The band also writes that the song contains a greater meaning: “Merriam-Webster defines bruise as ‘an injury involving rupture of small blood vessels and discoloration without a break in the overlying skin.’ This seems an apt metaphor for the unpleasantries we sweep under the rug; the shiners we camouflage with designer sunglasses. It may fade over time, but it’s also a trauma that persists in different iterations. It’s the Snapchat of wounds.”