VHS stands for Violent Human System, and the Seattle four-piece is deeply attuned to the meaning of those three words. Concerning themselves with the drearier parts of our social existence, they’ve culled songs that live in the vein of post-punk while sticking firmly to a punk ethos, working exclusively in analog to produce four ripping EPs since 2014.
“Art Decay” off the band’s most recent LP Gift of Life brings in a driving guitar line that hearkens to goth pioneers in the vein of Christian Death, with the insistence that “everything looks boring” gathering extra weight in Josh Hageman’s snarling vocals. It’s apropos that the video for the song, directed by Kyle Walker Akins, should begin with a VHS screening. It’s full of gorgeous, eerie pen art and shots of the band at work—in addition to plenty of splattering and decay—and it’s apparent the band put care and precision into their craft, even when they self-identify as “gloomy analog garbage.” They left us this message:
“To all those within and without our Violent Human System: Love, blood, honey, and purple pumping piss on this Strawberry Solstice of 201666. This video is a love letter to all our desert dwellers decaying in the dust.”
Gift of Life is out now on Suicide Squeeze Records, and you can catch VHS across the West Coast this summer.
VHS tour dates
24 Seattle, WA at Black Lodge (Record Release) with Kinski and Dreamdecay
25 Vancouver, BC at Astoria
08 Seattle, WA at Chop Suey with Absolute Monarchs
22-24 Seattle, WA at Capitol Hill Block Party
17 Oakland, CA at 1-2-3-4-Go! Records
18 Fresno, CA
21 Los Angeles, CA at The Smell with Audacity
22 San Francisco, CA at Hemlock Tavern with Audacity
23 Reno, NV at Holland Project with Audacity
24 Portland, OR at Mississippi Studios with Audacity
29 Tukwila, WA at Lucky Liquor with Tenement