I was curious to hear the dirty bit of this Winnipeg duo’s sound from their EP Every Kind Of Light, as I like my music like I like my men – gritty and knowing how to rock, and preferably not vampires, because then I’d have to question if they need psychiatric help, but I digress.
At the start of the first track, “Not Waiting ‘till Fall”, I was greeted with some chill guitar coming in via David Dobbs and drums by Matthew Powers (fitting name for a drummer, I must say, hehe) following suit. Just as I’m expecting this to be a ballad of some sort, in comes the dirt at about one minute in. Sweet. Yeah, I’m digging this…until the singing starts. My apologies, it’s not you – it’s me. I liken the vocal sound to the track “Hockey Monkey” by The Zambonis for the sake of comparison, albeit toned down. Definitely dirty so far, but a bit too generic for my taste; the track begins to end in a surf-grit type frenzy, which I wish would have continued but sadly it does not.
From the title of the second track alone, I get an image of a vampire guitar rising from a case coffin, which amuses me. “Riff Rise” has one has a groovy start, and about half way in, I’m digging the guitar and drums meshing into just some good ol’ stoner sounding rock, though I am still waiting on something to get my spidey sense really tingling. I do like that this one is instrumental; it gives me a chance to focus on their sound without being distracted by the vocals.
Moving on to “Winnipeg Song”, I’m sorry to say, ouch – my ears! I just can’t get past his vocal style. Perhaps it translates better live, but my ears were saying, “Stooooop!” Or, consider switching to the punk genre, perhaps. Also due to the vocal style, I can’t tell if this song is supposed to have meaning or sarcasm. I’m just not sure what to make of it in the end.
Finally we have “There’s No Kissing Anymore”, which has a promising start. Fast riffs are pumped out right off the bat, and the vocals a little more subdued. This one has more of a punky sound which I think is confirming my theory regarding what I said earlier. Still, I find there’s a certain “oomph” lacking. Perhaps I’m grizzled from years of listening to technical stuff, or this is more appealing to younger folk as I hear a lot of this style is big with the kids these days.
Dating myself further, this sound brings me back to my skateboarding days when there was no internet – only Much Music to discover new sounds, and I was into Treble Charger and Rusty, to name a few Canadian alt/rock acts off the top of my head that caught my attention back then. I’d say it’s a safe bet that if you’re a fan of hard rock and alternative but like to keep it simple, you’d dig this EP – it’s a good balance of simplicity with some depth. As for me, it’s a little too simple and again was hard for me to get past the vocal style. The stand out track for me is “Riff Rise”, for the aforementioned reasons. The video for it is great in doing the sound justice; I gotta give props there!
The Vampires definitely don’t suck, but they didn’t suck me in either. I gather these guys are just beginning to rise, so given that, it’s a groovy effort in the genre.
Written by Angie Radczenko