Hertfordshire hardcore newcomers VNDTA are on a mission to bring a fresh, modern sound to the UK’s metal scene. Led by the impressive clean and screamed vocals of Megan Targett, the band have honed a raw, aggressive, powerful sound dominated by huge progressive riffs and booming low-tuned metal chords.
And they’re out to set peoples’ preconceptions straight. As the band explain: “Because we have a frontwoman people always put us in the usual girly pop rock category. By the end of our live set or by the time they’ve listened to one of our tracks, they will have completely changed their minds I can assure you.”
The band has been through various line-ups, with the one constant being Megan. She met drummer Willem Mason-Geraghty at Download, then completed the current line-up with guitarists Jay Bacon and Callan Hughes who she knew through the local scene. As the band tell us: “We all had very different upbringings but we all found purpose and solace in music. Being in a band is something that was just inevitable for us and meant that every aspect of our lives would always be surrounded by music.”
Their debut EP Pale Glow is out on Saturday (13 April), from which our first taster of the music was debut single Excuses. It begins with slowly building background noise and a high-pitched guitar, then explodes into a huge low-tuned smash of guitars. Megan’s powerful, high-pitched vocals “I’m a master of disguise, Hiding behind swollen eyes, I watch the sun rise once more” come in over chugging palm-muted guitars. That leads into a big chorus of screamed vocals “Excuses excuses, I’ve heard them before” supported by floaty high-pitched guitars then dropping into a heavy smash of guitars.
That ends with a snarling growl from Megan leading into a heavy blitz of screamed vocals through the second verse, which flows into another angsty chorus. There’s a brief pause for breath with hanging high-pitched guitars, then blasts into a huge smash of heavy vocals and booming riffs before a final chorus. Check it out in the video below:
The latest offering from the EP is Martyr., which begins impressively with a huge scream of “My name is Martyr” then a smash of huge guitars leading into screams countered by really cool high-pitched vocals. A big singalong chorus of “Nobody asked you to burn, You struck your match on yourself, And now it’s your time to learn, Nobody’s going to hell.”
Another big cry of “My name is Martyr” gives way to an almighty smash of low-tuned guitar riffs followed by more wild screamed vocals. Check it out below:
These two tracks alone suggest the debut VNDTA EP is set to be something special, and there’s certainly going to be nothing ‘girly pop rock’ about it. They told us: “We’re so excited for people to hear it! We feel as though we’ve been waiting forever for people to hear our music and what we have to say. The EP is heavy from start to finish but all different kinds of heavy. We try not to just stick to one genre and just play what we want and what we like.”
And on what inspires them to write music, they add: “A lot of the time it’s based on personal experiences both positive and negative, we always say how it is as it just feels right and we think it is picked up by the audience who can relate to these feelings. Bands often say they’re real but never show it live.“
VNDTA will be on tour in support of the EP later this month. And, if you wondered what inspires them pre-show then, well, it’s a little bit different. They tell us: “Before every show we all sing Daniel Bedingfield’s If You’re Not The One as loud as we can to get psyched up. This sounds like a joke. It’s not.”