Vinyl Dharma is a five-piece indie-electro outfit from the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas but has called Austin home for the past few years. After making an immediate entrance into the Live Music Capital’s local scene and capturing national attention on MTV2, Vinyl Dharma recently released what may be the best EP the Austin indie music scene has yet to embrace. The six-song, self-titled EP may be Austin’s best kept secret.
The EP begins with their most popular single, “The Sunshine Rave.” Those who are familiar with Vinyl Dharma have heard the song at their shows and have seen the clip on the band’s MTV2 video posted on the Vinyl Dharma MySpace page. “The Sunshine Rave” is a synthesized indie track that will have the kids bouncing and singing along. It’s the perfect song to bring together fans of bands like New Order and pop radio listeners who haven’t got a clue about what good indie is.
“Head For The Hills” is another standout track worthy of single status. Even more synthesizer-driven than “The Sunshine Rave,” the seven-minute track leaves no guitar riff or key untouched. It is very bouncy, beat heavy and danceable. Cosmic keyboard sounds and crunchy guitar riffs bring together ambient and electro sounds in one song, a feat rarely accomplished. “Infidelity” is the other must-download single off the EP. Recalling the spirit and sounds of early disco house, the heavy bass lines compliment vocalist Johnny Dharma on this pop-tastic song ride.
The guys take a break from the the madness on the acoustic ballad “Sunder,” but it lacks any real standout characteristics. It only shows Vinyl Dharma are at their best when putting all their instruments to use. The only other disappointment of the Vinyl Dharma EP is that it only gives the listener six songs. With all that talent and polish, the band needs a full length. Expect good things from Vinyl Dharma.