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Vent - Papa's Dojo

VENT are truly a talented and gifted band, by featuring siblings of Incubus it's easy to dissert that they come from a talented musical heritage, but don't be fooled the band is in no way a clone of their older brothers. Granted there is a bit of Incubus reminiscent vocal patterns, but instead of funk and drum and bass they are coupled with the full on pop stylings of the Foo Fighters or Stone Temple Pilots and the lush mellow song crafting reminiscent of Faith No More. The band brings together beautiful epic songs with pop sensibility and intricate song structure smothered with over the top vocal harmony, although this alone cans sound like some basic radio pop band, VENT somehow manages to do all this with a dark enough edge to make the melodies exude a wealth of emotion. Vocals are breathtaking, Jason the singer has skillfully perfected his craft and knows the limitations and strong points of his voice, he can bring the serene hums and sighs, mix them up with head on assertive wails and tie it all together with soothing verses. The range he can achieve is truly astonishing, it's hard to explain the way he can make a lulling vocal so powerful and emotional and almost shove out words without resorting to screaming, although at some points he does give way to such tactics, he does so in an elegantly restrained manner. Vocals are indeed a highlight of this band and make each song that much more powerful, especially when the band uses backing vocals and overdubs to highlight the complicated song structures. Lyrically Jason expresses strong subject matter, although not as visceral and up front as some lyrics can be he instead the shoots for a more thought provoking approach, almost leaving the listener ready to question themselves. Guitars courtesy of Ben are well thought out and provide an even plain for the vocals to ghostly glide over. The moderated use of effects and ample breathing room throughout the strumming and riffs really give this CD a learned feel, as the songs shift between clean tones, distortion and misc. other effects they never end up saturating the song with just one tone and this really pays off well for the music giving it a fresh aura that doesn't limit or bury itself. Instead of taking the full on chords or riffs approach there's alot of attention focused on strumming and picking as well as a clever use of repetition in the guitar parts themselves which give them an actual voice instead of being written off as just atmosphere. Bass playing is solid, with riffs and tones that sound familiar to the seminal 80's group The Police at times, there's a definite refined approach taken by bassist Paul that concentrates on taking breaks and letting the other instruments take precedence which results in giving a more dynamic feel instead of layering every part with low end. Still though Paul does let loose on a few parts and the bass is given it's worthy share of time in the spotlight. Drums are also used as a dynamic instrument, there's a very roomy tone put to use, in fact it's one of the more catchier things about VENT's style. The drums are tuned to a very solid thunderous tone which is played out with steady beats and disciplined fills and brings the songs lunging forward at a staid pace. There's an element of keyboard/programming that takes place within the bands music too that doesn't overpower or take over, but instead brings an ambient, atmospheric tone and in turn provides an added dimension to the already prodigious song structure. Standout tracks would be hard to pick as this is one of the rare few albums where each song is astounding and beautiful in it's own right. There honestly are no downsides to bring to light about this disc, it's rare that a band can put together such a strong release that flows so well from it's combustible start to a piano driven finish, let alone a debut indie release. From it's hilarious and well thought out kung-fu inspired cover art to the excellent songs contained within this CD is a must have. VENT are hands down a refreshing breath of air from the rapidly stagnating musical environment that is rapidly expanding as of late, with musical aptness and an uncanny ability for writing agile song structures and not to mention pure talent, expect this band to become huge fast.
(5 / 5)

wookubus

 
Vent
Papa's Dojo
Independent
©2000

1. Stalker
2. One Small Choice
3. Looking Down
4. Sweet Frustration
5. Back And Forth
6. Numb
7. Only Human
8. Remedy
9. I Can't Breathe
10. When I Drown

Vent's Official Website

 

 
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