Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Vendetta Red

December 11, 2003

Ok, ok. So, Vendetta Red’s debut album “Between the Never and the Now” is a bit old. To the extent of about 6 months old. But, it garners my vote for most underrated album of the year. Why? It’s thoroughly original, of course.

Vendetta Red is angry. Very angry. Angry enough that about 5 tracks that end in an all-out miasma of screaming, slashing guitars and other noise. But that’s only half the picture. About half of these songs are in a major key. Their singer is so spot-on perfect that songs like “Shatterday” and “There Only Is” resonate around not just a chorus, but a single haunting line. The vocals span almost two and a half octaves, bringing an amazing amount of drama and intensity to this.  Their screaming is just amazing, bringing a fearful emotion to songs such as “Stay Home”, where singer Davidson screams “She said son! He didn’t mean it! There’s something wicked on the inside!” It looks so cliché, but it will give you a shiver. The lyrics here read like a gothic diary, where death, gore, pain, and abstract poetry abound.  Some are fantastic, such as the aforementioned “Stay Home”, a burning, pointed-finger expose at child abuse. Others have meanings that are unrecognizable, such as the morose “Ambulance Chaser”, and others are anger filled rants (The dangerously bridge-burning “Por Vida”). The songs themselves range from the neo-punk “Opiate Summer” to the hardcore madness of “Por Vida” to the dark, moody emo of “Lipstick Tourniquets”. Most fit in the major-keyed anger-rock vents of “Seconds Away”, and they are fantastic.

You need this album. This is one of the most exceptional albums released this year, and it’s under the radar. VR is on Epic, people!!! It’s not like this one’s a hard one to find. If you like the word emo, this will make it onto your top 10 list.

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Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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