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VANNA – The Few And The Far Between

| 18 March 2013 | Reply


Label: Artery Recordings/Razor & Tie

Release Date: March 19, 2013

Rating 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Mike Hubbard

As a general rule things tend to mellow with age. Not so with Boston’s hardcore outfit Vanna, in fact just the opposite is true if their fourth full length is any indication.  Vanna’s latest output “The Few And The Far Between” is slated for release March 19th.  This is their first release without founding members Evan Pharmakis (guitar, clean vocals) and drummer Chris Campbell and the changes in their sound is evident throughout the recording.  Those who are fans of Vanna’s debut full length Curses may hardly recognize this as a Vanna record.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is different. Gone are any remnants of metalcore, this is a straight hardcore effort.  Pharmakis’ clean vocal verses had been a staple in Vanna’s previous work, but there are almost no clean vocals to find here.  It is hardcore, from beginning to end.  I’ve been a fan of Vanna for quite a few years now and I have to admit that upon my first listen I was left a bit flat.  I think this was a matter of having expectations of something different.  But after listening to it a few times (it is a quick listen, clocking in at 29 minutes) it definitely started to grow on me.  Once I got past my preconceived notion of what a Vanna album was “supposed” to sound like I could really start to get into it.  The album starts with the title track, which serves as a haunting intro, full of pain and angst, and sets the tone for the album.  It leads seamlessly into the second track, “The Lost Art of Staying Alive,” which hits you with full force frontal attack, more punk than anything Vanna has released in the past.

The track “I Said I’m Fine” gives evidence of the darkness that is at the root of most of the album, with vocalist Davey Muise shouting “black shoes, black shirt, black heart.”  Later in the song he shouts defiantly “we’re not going away, we refuse to die.”  Darkness, despair, and defiance are evident throughout the recording, but out of that comes artistry.  “Please Stay” is another track that literally screams of desperation.  Muise pleads over and over “Please stay! Please stay!”  You can feel his pain, and in all likelihood you have experienced that same pain at some time in your life.  The following track, “A Thin Place,” is a rant against religion.  Lines like “I won’t fold my hands, I won’t close my eyes” initially express outward rebellion, which quickly transitions to an aggressive stance, with the line “I stare at a coward but you won’t stare back at me.”  “When in Roam” is another example of the rebellious side of Vanna.  Defiance is evident in the chorus “Live free, die free, I won’t be alone.  Live free, die free, my home is where I roam.  Live free, die free, I won’t be alone.  Live free, die free, I’m never on my own.”  The theme gets pushed further later in the song, with the concluding question “So who’s ready to die?”  Much of the writing for this album was done while on tour, and this track captures the essence of the band’s life of the road, making a home wherever their travels take them.  Overall “The Few And The Far Between” is a solid hardcore effort.  The effects of the recent line-up changes can’t be missed and may leave long-time Vanna fans disappointed.   However, fans of aggressive angst-filled hardcore will find the album delivers.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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