ARTIST: V IS FOR VILLAINS
Label: IMW Inc.
Reviewed by Manuel Zarb
What does a band made up of super villains sound like? We may never know the whole truth, but for now V Is For Villains does a pretty great job of answering that question.
Their debut, Evolve Or Die, is an industrial rock album with big ambitions. The production done by front man and lead vocalist Mr. Agitator is clean and crisp, but the music is not. This is dark electronica, jagged and metallic and dense. The lyrics really rubbed me the wrong way at first –they seemed too riddled with angst and obvious phrases –but my opinion has since changed. Just don’t expect glossy, life affirming pop tunes, okay?
Mr. Agitator sings in a higher register than I would have expected in some cases, but his voice does grow on you. More importantly, he sings with passion and conviction, and the moments when his voice interplays with Veronica Jade’s (who provides excellent backing vocals) are some of the best moments on the album.
The electronics on this thing are big, hitting heavy in an epic, mechanical way. I particularly liked Fallon Flynn’s work instrumentally, his grimy guitar riffs sounding both atmospheric and incredibly, awesomely angry. The Pulse’s drums are intense but precise as clockwork, and for me this all comes together best on “All About the Flesh” I would attempt to pick apart everything done on the song, but that would detract from it –suffice to say that every little noise that is made on that track is fantastic, and that the song kept me trapped in a hypnotic state for the entire two and a half minute runtime (they are villains, after all).
Evolve And Die is not perfect, certainly, and some songs sound too similar to the others. But that only means the band has a lot of space to grow. Besides, when music is this likeable, the gripes really are minor. As great as this album is, I can only imagine what V Is For Villains can do if you put them on a stage.
You can visit the band’s website at www.visforvillains.com