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Song You Need to Know: The Vandastruts, ‘Guilt Shot’

Only in the second year of being a band, The Vandastruts are already proving their worth as one of the country’s bands to watch.

While 2020 might have been the beginning of a truly awful period of human existence, things can’t be entirely band considering it also gave rise to the birth of New South Wales outfit The Vandastruts.

Forming in early 2020, the quartet hail from north of Wollongong, with members coming together out of a shared love of vintage rock and roll records, ranging from genres as varied as blues and grunge. The result is a rather unique sound which almost contradictorily has the loose and messy vibe of the latter, mixed with the slick professionalism of the former.

Releasing a pair of singles last year and performing with the likes of Mi-Sex and Ray Beadle, the quartet have returned this month with “Guilt Shot”, a bluesy cut focused around just one of the many gun-related deaths coming out of the US. With country-tinged open tunings, a haunting resonator guitar, and an eerie sense of tragedy due to the sample of an actual news report, it’s unlike nothing else we’ve heard from the group so far.

“‘Guilt Shot’ started off with a chord progression in an open D tuning which a chilling vibe, especially when we broke out the resonator to add a haunting sound,” explains singer and guitarist Kayne Micallef on the track.

“The lyrics really came from the vibe of the song, it started off with the first line then came together within a day. We decided to base it off a real event in the US. We decided to add an audio track from the news report for something a little different.”

Today has also seen the release of the track’s accompanying music video, filmed by Luke Chaplin and Blake Lisk and showcasing The Vandastruts giving the track a full performance in a live setting. A rarely-seen – but wholly acclaimed – side of a band who were formed against the background of impending lockdowns, it gives fans a taste of what to expect once stages are once again open and ready to welcome both The Vandastruts and their fans back to strut their stuff before eager crowds.

The Vandastruts’ “Guilt Shot” is officially out today.