Vari Vice began in the fall of 2016 when Alix and Dan started writing the songs that would become WHAT REALITY WILL THEY USE OVER YOU? in Dan’s old bedroom on a bass and an acoustic guitar. The intention was to make dancy pop music by way of THE CURE and NEW ORDER. Eventually by the summer of 2017, they had created 6 songs they felt good enough about and started recording them in Alix’s old practice space. Through lots of road blocks and technical problems, the recording and mixing process wasn’t completed until around the spring of 2018. VV had their friend Niko Zaglaras mix their recordings, which really brought the songs way more to the vision they had originally sought out. Even though Vari Vice only has these 6 songs and two shows to show for their almost two years of existence, they are hard at work on the next record and have plans to play more shows soon and to tour.
Over the past year, Portland's Vari Vice have quietly put together WHAT REALITY WILL THEY USE OVER YOU?, a debut of laser-sharp post-punk melodicism boosted by the overdriven circuits of modern electronic. Saturated drum machines and imposing synth lines buttress REALITY's tunefulness, fusing the totalitarian macabre of Bauhaus with the more plaintive side of modern emo. Second track "Teeth" finds Byers lamenting the drama of everyday life in fits and starts over nervous energy borrowed straight from Seventeen Seconds. The closer "We'll Never Have Solitude" leaves the audience in a meditative state, mourning cycles of abuse over a looping bass melody, bound to seemingly endless repetition. While goth traditionally teases listeners with images of defiled icons and B-movie stars to evoke a grim existence, Vari Vice skip a few steps and focus on emotions a little closer to home. Relationships, power dynamics, gender dysphoria, and body image are all abound in REALITY's lyric sheet. Visions of Bela Lugosi, these are not.
Two songwriters propel REALITY's vision: Dan Byers, of Little Star, supplies dour goth tunefulness, while Alix Beyer brings energy from a litany of punk groups into the Vari Vice's more charged numbers. Portland's Good Cheer Records is releasing the tape, placing Vari Vice in the lineage of rain-soaked post-everything including label-mates Floating Room and Little Star.