By Ezra Morris
Wampire makes music for that oft-repeated scene in 80s teen movies where the nerdy protagonist somehow successfully defeats the odds and ends up in a soft focus while the alpha female girl next door beckons to him. Is it a dream? Is he dead? Either way, there are a lot of swelling synths and gauzy vocals drenched in reverb. With their anti-glamour, lo-fi approach, Wampire churns out the dream-pop chillwave that would score that scene if it was recorded on a handycam. The grit and shakiness are part of the charm.
This Portland trio made the dance floor move in blissed-out harmony when they took the stage at the Woods. Taking the sonic elements first kicked up by the likes of Kraftwerk, they head into a more danceable direction than those Germans would have ever anticipated. Like MGMT and the Faint before them, Wampire are fully embracing and then playing around with the pop conventions that defined the FM radio strand of New Wave.
Like fellow Portlanders Guidance Counselor and Jeffrey Jerusalem, Wampire is making pop anthems best experienced as someone else’s sweat threatens to mix with yours a thousand times over. They make music for having fun. In a city not known for its sunshine, Wampire creates its own heat.