New Year/New Music: The Vivid

This is the third installment of New Year/New Music. This is also a review of The Vivid’s inaugural EP Don’t Wake The Neighbors. This review that has been a long time coming, shit just got in the way. Without further ado, I give you The Vivid. Enjoy.

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Don’t Wake The Neighbors

Since I’ve been in college, I don’t remember a time that The Vivid wasn’t around. Ever since freshman year, their name and their music have been floating around in my consciousness, much like their experimental shoegaze-like drone floats over a hefty layer of alternative fuzz. I met Cory Young my first semester of college. He was pulling together a reincarnation of a band he had been a part of, and suggested I come see them. Since then, I’ve seen The Vivid play dozens of shows, anywhere from college frat bars to a commune of hippie revivalists on the UCF campus. Crafted in storage unit No. 457, Dont Wake The Neighbors is The Vivid’s first EP, featuring Cory Young (guitars, vocals), Brandon Kasper (bass, backing vocals), and Jonathon Adkins (drums). Let’s break it down!

AquaphobeDon’t Wake The Neighbors opens unapologetically with “Aquaphobe”. The track is built around a Hives-eque riff with Young’s reverbed vocals layered on top. His delivery throughout the song can be described as snarky. The influx of his tone at times like, “Is that right? Is that right?” and later, “Alright, alright, okay!” seem to mock whomever they’re directed at. Throughout the album, and especially on “Aquaphobe,” Young’s snarky vocals add personality and fullness to whatever message he’s trying to get across. After the second chorus, the song breaks down into a cavern of drums and bass, before chugging into the bridge. But, then everything goes batshit crazy. Young releases a belligerent attack of words, whilst Kasper and Adkins hold together what’s left of the song as it self-destructs into chaos.

Economy: “Economy” is a short punchy mid-tempoed clunker about our failing economic downfall and society’s pressure to “get back in line with everyone else.” The chorus bluntly points the finger accusing, “It’s on you, it’s on you, it’s on you, it’s on you!” Here, The Vivid channels the message of bands like Fugazi. They take a phrase and drive it home, creating a slogan for the oppressed. Musically though, the song doesn’t rise and fall, it remains stoic throughout. Without a definite peak, “Economy” feels half-baked when compared to the other songs on DWTN.

Zero: Don’t Wake The Neighbors’ third track is my favorite on release. The bass line is dirty. It feels like it was crafted in a sewer, cloaking the whole song in sludge. The vocals on the verse sound airy and distant, but then the chorus, the strongest on DWTN, hits and you’re pulled in close. The lyrics are both yelled and sung, creating a wave of noise, that’s so captivating. There’s a noise rock inspired guitar solo, with Young moaning either in agony or pleasure (the two are interchangeable). After the song’s faux ending, you’re left sweating in silence. But, The Vivid come back to bloody your nose one last time. The ending is even more furious live, and should be experienced by all.

The One From The Park: “The One From The Park” is the most experimental track on DWTN. It incorporates elements of shoegaze, and has an almost spoken word section dealing with isolation.  “The One From The Park” is one of those songs that leaves you feeling sad. But, the comforting kind of sad. That kind of sad that everyone has experienced, the kind of sad anyone can relate to. Young drones out, “How do I know what’s real?” A lyric that could typically be considered cliché, but here feels totally genuine. The guitar  at the song’s zenith fits the atmosphere perfectly, and then recedes back into the meek plucks that started the song off. This is The Vivid at their most Smashing Pumpkins (ironic that it comes after a song titled “Zero”).

Riser: “Riser” was previously mentioned in my Bag of Tracks from October. To quote myself, [“Riser” comes in sweet, but around the 1:00 mark the riffs kick in and there’s nowhere to hide. The chorus pumps the volume even louder, then collapses in on itself.] Being that “Riser” was one of the first songs The Vivid ever wrote and the first to be recorded for DWTN, it makes for a prolific ending. “Riser,” along with the rest of Don’t Wake The Neighbors, is The Vivid demanding you to take notice. Because they have no intention of going away any time soon.

Live Music: “Don’t Wake the Neighbors” EP Release Show featuring: Ricin House, yogurt smoothness, The Dull Blades, & The Vivid

Friday night was a great night for music. The Vivid celebrated the release of their first EP Don’t Wake the Neighbors with a star-studded show at Uncle Lou’s. The lineup consisted of Ricin House, yogurt smoothness, The Dull Blades, and The Vivid, all playing their own brand of garage rock. I’ve seen each band at least a half a dozen times, and consider them all to be some of Orlando’s best talent. Here is at testament of what went down on that crazy hazy night. Enjoy.

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Ricin House

Ricin House is a three piece punk DIY kind of band. Uncle Lou’s is home for Ricin House. They’ve been playing there for years, and the play-on-the-floor dive bar aesthetic works in Ricin’s favor. Seeing them play again at Lou’s reminds me of the time Iain smashed his guitar mid-set and ran out the door, in what could be the most rock n’ roll moment of my life. On stage, or rather on floor, Ricin House sounded better than ever, and the chemistry between band members is clear. Mercy plays the drums with more ferocity than anyone I’ve ever seen. She beats the holy hell out of her kit every time I see Ricin, and every wallop is technical and precise. Bassist Brian is similar. Together they build a tight rhythm section for Iain to go batshit all over. Iain’s guitar is unpredictable and wild. But, his voice is soulful, yet gritty, which made songs like “Simon” pop.

Find out more about Ricin House.

yogurt smoothness

What is there to say about yogurt smoothness that hasn’t already been said? Coming off their “Heavy Cream 2013 Tour,” these boys are still hungry for more tasty jams, and they proved that at Lou’s. Danilo said early in the set that they’re tired of playing their new songs, and because Orlando is where they cut their teeth, their old music was warmly welcomed.  During their set, I overheard The Vivid’s Brandon Kasper saying, “They sound different every time,” and that’s what yogurt smoothness do. They come out. Do their thing. And blow your mind with something new. EVERY TIME. Friday was no different.

Read my world renowned article: Hometown Heroes: Yogurt Smoothness

Find out more about yogurt smoothness.

The Dull Blades

If I were to summarize my freshman of college in one album, it would be The Dull Blades’ Less Production More Seduction. That year I probably saw The Dull Blades at least eight times. Friday however, had been over a year since I had seen the two-some of Nik Talbot and Anthony Fata blow my fucking doors off with blues rock wonderment. They came rushing back with a set of new songs from their upcoming second album (rumor has it that it’s titled Indullgence, but I didn’t say shit about that). On floor, Nik and Anthony are wonder twins of rock, with grooves so sweet you can’t help but dance. Nik’s guitar playing and voice make the ladies, and some men, swoon. Along with Anthony’s experience and power, The Dull Blades sound like a more interesting version of The Black Keys.

Find out more about The Dull Blades.

The Vivid

It’s their show, and they’ll rock if they want to. The Vivid closed out the night with some experimental garage punk. With the release of their first EP Don’t Wake the Neighbors, (review pending) The Vivid were on a high at the show. Their opener was “Riser,” the first single from DWTN. The song is a perfect description of the band, starting off with a reverb doused extended intro of shoegaze bliss, then coming down with a heavy riff, before settling into the chorus’ groove. As their set progressed, The Vivid played DWTN in its entirety, showcasing their different musical styles. I’ll talk more about DWTN in my full review, so stay tuned for that. Having been at almost every show The Vivid has played, I’ve seen them grow as a band. The harmonies between Cory Young and Brandon Kasper were tighter than ever, and with an ever-expanding arsenal of songs, the future for The Vivid looks very bright.

Find out more about The Vivid.

10/16/13 Bag of tracks: Physic Teens, The Vivid, White Lung

It’s hump day, that middle point of the work week when you feel the weekend is never going to come. I put together a few new tracks to get you through the rest of the week. Enjoy.

Physic Teens- “RIP”

Post-punk three-piece Physic Teens recently released their sophomore album, COME, and “Rip” was the dark and sinister first single. What sticks out the most to me is Larry Ragone’s deep vocals. His voice is like a cross between James Bond and Sweeney Todd, whispering in your ear, telling you ghost stories.

The Vivid- “Riser”

“Riser” is The Vivid’s debut single off their upcoming EP, out later this year. The Vivid describes themselves as, “self-destructively energetic three-piece garage punk band.” These guys are from Melbourne, I’ve been following them for a long time, and can’t wait to hear their EP. “Riser” comes in sweet, but around the 1:00 mark the riffs kick in and there’s nowhere to hide. The chorus pumps the volume even louder, then collapses in on itself. The Vivid have no desire to make tightly stitched together songs, they let it all hang out.

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White Lung- “Blow It South”

White Lung’s 2012 debut Sorry blow my brains out, and they haven’t missed a step with “Blow It South”. White Lung is heavy, they’re probably the heaviest band that I really like, sorry metalheads, but the typical metal band doesn’t do it for me. White Lungs has hooks and harsh sounds, they’re really really good. “Blow It South” is one of two new songs being released on vinyl November 5.