A top notch debut shows some real promise
According to their bio, the five members that make up Melbourne based rock outfit Vanden (Who are vocalist James Brown, guitarists Nick Smith and Marcus Hughes, bassist Dave Majetic and drummer Daniel Edwards) are no strangers to the music scene with all of the members having played in numerous bands throughout the years. While this may be true, I can't say that I can recall any of the members past bands through their names. However, what I can proclaim is that with the release of their debut E.P. Victims, these guys have finally delivered something worthy of some recognition.
After some two years in the making (In the writing sense), the young outfit hit the studio with renowned producer Forrester Savell (Who's earned a reputation of some repute through his work with Karnivool, Tension and Helmet), and the result are nothing short of absolutely rocking.
Within the opening track Dirty Sneakers, Vanden manage to mix elements of emo-rock (Which barely filters through the first twenty sends at most), post-hardcore (The riff structures in general) and straight out heavy rock (Brown's vocals are both melodic and infectious, but aggressive in the right measure too), which easily transcends the 'Heard it all before' issues associated with many acts trying their hand at the same particular blend of genres. Breathe is an obvious choice as a single with its huge sing-along chorus and overall accessible sound, while the heavy hitting Is This The Ending? (Which features some great drumming effects and some subtle violin work from Geoff Smith) and The River shows the muscle Vanden are able to produce when the need is called for.
Both Brown and the band stretch out a little more on the melancholy (Yet equally as rocking) This Time, while on the anthem like Backwards, Vanden showcase every aspect of their sound into the one track for a what is essentially a stunning grand finale.
(Disix Records/M.G.M. Distribution)