Kieran Robertson is a Glasgow lad who’s been causing a bit of a buzz on the scene over recent years, despite his tender age of 17. Brought up in a musical family, he’s been playing guitar since he was six and performing since he was around fourteen. In the Name of Vanity is his debut full length and it straddles a few genres, with most emphasis in the goth/industrial end of the scale.
My first experience of Kieran was seeing him live at the #BringBackRockRadio Bash at the Garage a few weeks back. The general consensus of our little group was that the music was okay, but visually… not for us. At my age, and with my wife present, watching a young lad cavort on stage with two girls about the age of my eldest daughter just didn’t sit well. Had I been a bit younger it would probably have made me an instant fan…
However, I now have a copy of the album to hand so I can focus purely on the music and I can happily say that our aural opinion of the live show was justified. This isn’t bad at all, and it’s genuinely impressive when you know that the songwriting is down to someone so young. Of course, he’ll have had a lot of help in terms of production to make the most of his creations but the result is something very much worth listening to.
In terms of attitude, this is Motley Crue. In terms of music there are shades of Marilyn Manson, Sisters of Mercy, Ministry, 69 Eyes and the like. Essentially, think of acts that go with Kieran’s physical appearance and stage show and you’ll likely be able to hear some influence. That’s not to say all the tracks are samey – “My Everything”, for instance, is a slow and haunting ballad (barring a loud section just over halfway through) which nestles in between the rather more angry “This World” and the bouncy, rowdy “Addicted To This Life”. Some songs are laced with keyboard effects, others are more straightforward rockers.
This is quite the collection, some tracks a little better than others, but there’s not actually a bad song present. There’s definitely a little experimentation going on as well, as Kieran tries to perhaps find his precise sound. Closer “Wizard”, for example, has some very harsh vocals which aren’t present in any other track. It’s without a doubt the most varied song on the album with a lot of spoken word/near-rap in there as well, and a lot of atmospheric keys.
If you’re into the kind of music that features men wearing nail varnish then this is one to check out. Dirty and heavy for the main with an impressive lighter side for a couple of the tracks.
In The Name Of Vanity is out now and you can grab it from Amazon via this site-supporting link.