Vaadat Charigim // The World Is Well Lost
Recommended Track: Ze Beseder Lefahed
In the snobbish bedroom community of Ramat Hasharon, most young Israelis are content with simple forms of Westernized entertainment. They gorge on fast food and MTV. They whisk to and from luxury condos in their luxury cars. It’s the perfect scene for an art school rebel to develop a little suburban malaise.
Juval Haring did just that. He escaped to Germany for a few years only to return home to stir up a little angst in neighboring Tel Aviv. Haring promptly hit up his buddies and held band practice in a bomb shelter. Soon Vaadat Charigim emerged and are now the center of a small underground pushing the boundaries of traditional Israeli music.
The World Is Well Lost is an 80s wet dream of the best elements of shoegaze, post-punk and dream pop. Vaadat Charigim don’t waste time establishing their mood. This is downtrodden poetry steeped in lo-fi guitar swirls. Yuval Guttman drums with the speed and versatility of My Bloody Valentine’s Colm O Ciosoig. There are touches of Beat Happening’s open tuning and the smoldering jangle pop of The Feelies’ Crazy Rhythms. Haring doesn’t possess quite the vocal desparity of say Faris Badwan, but he does capture the sense of impending doom that worked so well on The Horrors’ Primary Colours. “Ze Besader Lefahed” (It’s Ok To Be Scared) is a fleeting ode to youth just as in place on a Sunday night Echo set list or blasting through bedtime headphones. “Odisea” is a melodic seven minute slow burner that builds nicely before continuing just a bit too long.
Everything is sung in Hebrew as a deliberate affront to current Israeli trends. Good music has always transcended language and this record is no exception. Haring frequently cites his disdain for corporate music trends and Israeli bands that mimic US/European trends to gain popularity. While he doesn’t hate English, he feels his message is best expressed in his native tongue. When he sings about nuclear disaster and daily indecision in that Ian Curtis baritone, the message is already implied.