July 18th 2015 will be an important day for Vardis as it will see them playing live in London for the first time in 30 years at a double headlining show with Diamond Head at Bush Hall and 200 individually numbered 12″ vinyl copies of their new 200 M.P.H EP will be available at the gig for £15 so definitely a case of first come, first served! For those who cannot make it that night, it will be available from July 20th on CD from Hoplite Records and on digital download via iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Spotify.
200 M.P.H contains 5 tracks, 2 of which are the first new material Vardis have released since 1986, 2 old tracks reworked in the studio with new drummer Joe Clancy and a live recording of ‘The World’s Insane’ which I’m pretty sure was recorded at Nuneaton Queens Hall, 16/05/2015, Joe’s first gig with Vardis. The 2 new tracks kick things off, both mixed by Joe Clancy and front man Steve Zodiac. ‘Jolly Roger’ was aired at the Nuneaton gig for the first time in May but takes on a new lease of life in the studio.
Joe’s thumping drum intro precedes Steve’s raucous, clipped main riff with Big Country like guitar solos running throughout as the drum intro brings the song to a crashing end. ‘The Knowledge’ is a commercial slice of Vardis style hard rock in the vein of ‘Too Many People’ with a thumping bass intro from Terry Horbury and sees Steve let rip midway with a fretboard burning solo. ‘Dirty Money’, the first of the 2 reworked songs from the live 1980 debut 100 M.P.H is a more raw and heavier take of the original with the main riff still reminding me of ‘Somethin Else’ by Eddie Cochran after all these years. ‘Move Along’ also has been beefed up in the studio with the main riff grittier than the original and the guitar workout is longer with Steve doing overtime on his wah-wah pedal. These tracks were also mixed by Joe and Steve.
Final track is a warts and all live take of ‘The World’s Insane’, mixed by Melissa Gough and introduced by Steve as “We are playing this one for B.B King”. 6 minutes of slow burning heavy blues closes 200 M.P.H in fine style with a band jam followed by a feedback drenched guitar solo.
Vardis band line up :-
Steve Zodiac – Lead vocals/guitar.
Joe Clancy – Drums.
Terry Horbury – Bass guitar.
200 M.P.H EP track listing :-
The World’s Insane (live).