Youth and creativity burn equally bright in Kill Vargas’s new 10 song LP Laugh It Off . Formed in 2013 by brothers Logan Bush (drums) and Griffin Bush (guitar, vocals) along with their childhood friend Austin Engler (bass), the group has quickly become a fan favorite throughout the Midwest due to their adamant DIY mentality and rigorous tour schedule. This comes as no surprise considering their penchant for crafting catchy surf punk tunes delivered with electrifying stage antics.
The band began humbly enough–the two Bush brothers and their next-door neighbor started by playing small shows just outside their home base in Wichita, KS. Eventually, they graduated to packing a 400-seat theatre within just a few short years. Along the way, the trio has released a series of recordings, including their 2017 EP “Tunnel Vision”, which solidified the band as a local staple in Wichita. Torin Andersen for WE ARE WICHITA said, “Charged up and ripping out the speakers…‘Tunnel Vision’ spreads like a wildfire from your ears to the extent of your limbs.”
The good vibes also translate from the recorded music to the stage show. While they normally headline rooms from Kansas to Texas, Kill Vargas has recently opened for Broncho, The Frights and Balance and Composure, amongst others.
Though Kill Vargas’s early material was more in line with straight ahead punk like FIDLAR and Wavves, the new material, though no less energetic, carries a looser and more polished feel in the vein of Pinkerton-era Weezer. The collection of songs on Laugh It Off present Kill Vargas at their songwriting best–tight arrangements meander dynamically while spinning a cohesive, stylistic thread throughout and creating an airy and untroubled atmosphere. That carefree feeling makes for a record that offers both sugary sweet melodies and pummeling guitar riffage.
Also intended as a celebration of youthful irreverence, the record is set to arrive just months after youngest member Griffin Bush’s high school graduation. “We understand the world is a heavy place for many people these days, and we just hope that our music can provide some sense of escape, even if it’s just for a few minutes,” says Griffin Bush.
Recording took place at Wichita’s Air House Studios under the watchful eyes of engineer Micajah Ryan (Bob Dylan, Megadeth, Guns N’ Roses) and fellow musician William Erickson (Team Tremolo), who lent a guiding hand throughout the production process. The warm, fun sensibilities of the album are best exemplified by the tunes “Hooked,” “Collapse” and “I’ve Had It”.
While many people previously saw Kill Vargas as a typical group of young punk rockers, Laugh It Off cements the band’s maturity and musical prowess without any caveats relating to age. Having grown into not only their sound, but their physical bodies as well, the members of Kill Vargas have a lot to offer with their newest release.
Kill Vargas is Griffin Bush (vox/guitar), Logan Bush (drums), Austin Engler (bass)