Review: Vex Red

Vex Red
“Start with a Strong and Persistent Desire”

So I pulled the CD out of the pile and listened to it long enough to put it into another pile to listen to later, cause it sounded pretty good in a ‘we’re dreamy alt-brit rock, but can find some distortion when we want it with lots of effects’ kind of way.  A couple of days later, I saw them open for Recover, Poison the Well and Glassjaw.  Having nothing to do with those bands or the crowd they typically draw, the kids found themselves curiously staring toward the stage, and applauding after each, never-heard-this-before number.  The girls liked them anyway.  They got that ‘I’m moody, hurt with me’ vibe that brakes down to a soft coo in a lot of numbers.  A sampler/keyboard jockey spices things up, giving that slightly abused-technology feel (feel the Pitchshifter influence when it’s thick).  The unit plays well together, and off their respective band mates.  The songs break apart often, stripping down to just fragments of the band, allowing the impact of sound when they all join on a single idea.  There is a sly hip-ness, that subtle club chique that finds its way into an otherwise quiet/loud alt-rock song on the dreamy Brit rock tip that gives identity to Vex Red.  Some of the drearier moments will appeal to the Radiohead set, but it usually gets louder and more dramatic as the song goes on.  It’s tasty with the big guitars on the club dose (see the instrumental ‘Cause and Solution’).  Which sets up nicely to the title track.  A loud stomp and scream, drenched in effects, broken apart by the Vex Red extreme quiet pullbacks.  Some middle ground might develop the songs some, but a promising effort in this release.  Plenty of passion and thought into all the elements and vocals that relay the depth of feeling in which they were written.  And before we go, let’s name drop Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Glassjaw, Amen) who produced this.  But this has NOTHING to do with any of those bands.  I believe Ross is bored with the nu-metal.  He went fishing for a ‘British’ sounding band.  He found one and did and damn fine job with the sound of Vex Red on this release.