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Vex Red Start With A Strong And Persistent Desire

By Vinnie Apicella, Contributor
Friday, September 6, 2002 @ 9:34 AM


(Virgin/I Am)

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I don't care a bit about the hype, never have. But just the fact that I saw a press quote about how they're not sitting in a studio churning out endless Bizkit and Korn rip-offs urges me to give 'em a spin… Made the more remarkable considering industry vet Ross Robinson took 'em under his wing! Not to say they're not new sounding -- as they certainly are -- but the first song drew me in with it's electric heavy hook and I was stuck.

One thing I've noticed in recent days is that the UK is producing some truly talented bands that manage to embrace everything but the cliché-ridden TRL shit, and do this impressive classic to modern bridgework gone off the rails enough to set in future-goers looking for the next big headline. So Vex Red wails away with indie-rock urgency, leisurely lamentive, and a circuitous groove from within and out the mighty processor plug-ins.

Their style is comparable to fellow UK-based thrill-seekers Cyclefly, employing heavy dashes of guitar power, off-beat drumming and sci-fi synthesis to colorful effect; certainly Radiohead, or even an organically overzealous Pitchshifter… and to look southward, Deftones and Tool stand forthright in their swiftly alarming and charming mix of "persistent" melodrama.

Start With A Strong… is eleven tracks brought together effectively by elemental ambivalence and structural disarray where destiny and doom meet eye to eye, bow to each other and proceed forward like gentlemen-a swifter, smoother merging of cutting edge torment and seventies' mood music you'll never hear -- "The Closest," blistering opening cut; "Untitled," a four-cornered and far-flung piece; "Itch," and "Bully Me," restrained and reflective; "Cause And Solution" brings some intriguing guitar trickery and Orgy-like keyplay… Vex Red is sonic youth and surging electricity combined with a strong and persistent desire to stretch and break musical boundaries with mind, matter, and mechanization.

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