Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Victorian Halls: Scream at Me and Never, Ever Stop.

February 28, 2009

There isn’t a moment to rest while listening to Victorian Halls’ sophomore EP, entitled, well, the Victorian Halls EP. At least that is what one might think while listening to the first track thrown at us like a dagger, called “Desperate Storyline.” It delights with plunking piano and the addicting squeal of lead singer Sean Lenart.

Things only get ten times better with the onslaught of “I’m Gonna Eat Your Brains and Gain Your Knowledge.” As if the title of the song alone isn’t enough to make one adore it, it explodes very angrily in the face of the listener. Immediately. The beauty of Victorian Halls is that the band is completely and utterly unique to me. They are their own sound. Sure, I find tiny little inspirations from random things I have heard over the timeline of my life in their music, but it’s a stabbing, pissed, passionate little genre of its own.

Victorian Halls is comparable only to a shark feeding frenzy taking place, but Victorian Halls EP seems to offer a bit more musicality than their last release. I love the piano. It’s upbeat. It’s forceful. A highlight on Victorian Halls EP is the sweet synth that enters in about minute two of “It’s Not Fad, It’s Etiquette.” They’d be wise to pepper in more synth on future tracks, I think.

“Neon Skies Light My Nerves Up” is a bit more rockin; the intro is heavy. This is what is so great about Victorian Halls! They are so innovative with each new song. Nothing is the same, yet it is so cohesive it’s like art. “Neon Skies” is an amazing dance track. I hear traces of synth, and drummer Mike Tomala hitting a speedy high hat on the upbeat, Lenart’s trademark screech—it makes for pure genius.

Even if the style of Victorian Halls isn’t what you’re used to—learn to love it. There is a lot to be discovered while listening to both Victorian Halls EP and their first album, Springteen. They’re unique and radical. A band like this, that truly does their own thing, is remarkable in the highest degree.

A spazzy, delightful trip down Victorian Halls

January 27, 2009

Spastic. Screech. Lunacy. Lovely?

I decided the best way to kick off a review of Victorian Halls’ unique CD would be to write the first four descriptive words that popped into my head concerning the sounds of the first track, entitled “Pop, Pop, Pop.” Honestly, I cann ot think of a more fitting song title. Those four seem to cover it pretty well.

I initially picked this CD to listen to because it had the most fanciful art on the cover: blue buildings, pink smoke, a pill taking flight into the brown sky via its angel wings. The art translates to the music in the most delightful way possible. This is not another case of the listener being intrigued by the album art, and then miserably disappointed by the content of the CD – which i’m sure has happened to more music fans than just me. No, the music on the album Springteen is arousingly funky. It is perkier than a high school cheerleader on crack. Although the hyperactivity starts out strong on Springteen, it doesn’t fade. This is a cohesive album to the very end, but NEVER boring.

The second track, “Persecution of Bellissima Morte,” comes across as though it was written in anger. Singers Sean Lenart and Carlos Luna scream at the listener with utmost screechy passion. I use the term screechy in the most loving way possible, I might add. The vocals are jarring, constantly jabbing at your eardrums. But it is a strange kind of pain – the kind you want more of. Victorian Halls knows they aren’t a band your mother would love, as Lenart can be quoted as saying. But they are one you will love. I loved them, especially after they pleased my ears with the intricate, creepy, militant “Go! Razorbacks! Go!” “Greed” is a hidden jem, too, changing it up with fuller vocals. The last track gives you a peek into their acoustic sound. Amazing through and through.
To sum it up, Springteen is spazzy and mezmerizing. The drums are straightforward, the guitar is punky, the bass is speedy, and the piano strikes beautifully throughout the songs. This band is so worth a listen that I can’t stress it enough. I spend so much time wishing for something edgy, unique, and totally different than what I have ever heard before to come along. Victorian Halls totally fulfilled that wish.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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