A split that has both acts coming up trumps
After releasing their debut E.P. Victims earlier in the year, Melbourne based rock outfit Vanden are back with the second split E.P. effort Black Hearts & Poison Girls with rising Brisbane act Repeat Offender.
Vanden (Who now comprise of vocalist James Brown, guitarist Nick Smith, bassist Drew Patton and drummer Dave Hunter) are the first act to debut new material, with the opening track Black Heart Street a strong opening number packed with memorable choruses, weighty guitar riffs and some interesting violin work (Once again provided by Geoff Smith) woven throughout the number. Just Take The Ride is every bit as driving and impressive as the opener, while the slow and dynamic Side Streets mixes quieter passages with all out heaviness, intermingled with various media samples, making it one of the real stand out tracks from the band. Vanden finish up their set of three originals with great acoustic and dreamy sounding rendition of Repeat Offender’s Amphetamine (Which originally appeared on Repeat Offender’s 2006 E.P. To A Modern Love), which they manage to make sound like one of their own.
On the other side of the disc, Queensland melodic rock band Repeat Offender (Who comprise of vocalist Ryan Wilson, vocalist/guitarist Steven Childs, bassist Matt Newton and drummer Dane Karolak) kick off their contributions with stunningly catchy Poison Girl, before allowing the listener to be carried away with the laid back I’m Yours. The hard rocking Have Your Lies Begun? certainly doesn’t lack any power or punch from the group, while the group returns Vanden’s favour by covering their Dirty Sneakers (Which originally appeared on 2007’s Victims) in acoustic form, transforming into something completely different, yet totally magical.
When it comes to split E.P.’s, more often than not there’s generally one act that manages to outshine the other. But in the case, both Vanden and Repeat Offender manage to come out as clear winners, with both acts delivering some first class rock. If you happen to be a fan of either group, my advice would be to purchase without thinking twice. You won’t regret it one bit.
(Disix Records/M.G.M. Distribution)