Wrong Side Of Vegas

Catching The Vibe EP

Written by: PP on 11/08/2008 03:23:51

I originally intended to write this review from the only appropriate place on earth, Las Vegas, but then the wonders of the poker tables and lack of time before having to depart for a flight back to Denmark decided otherwise. But I guess Copenhagen is an even more suitable place to review Wrong Side Of Vegas' new EP, "Catching The Vibe", an explosive record holding the fused flag of 70s rock and roll and garage rock high almost single-handedly in Denmark. You may remember from my review of their debut EP "Dirty Jobs" how I accused them of simply jumping on The Hives/The White Stripes bandwagon on especially one track that sounded a little bit too clone-y for my taste. It seems like the message went home nice and clear, because on "Catching The Vibe EP", Wrong Side Of Vegas are starting sound like they've got their own sound just about figured out.

Sure, the tracks still remind you of the attitude-filled punk rock of The Hives, and occasionally of the artistic wonders of The White Stripes. But not enough to make you instantly think about them this time around. The vocals have become more explosive and now ooze of raw rock and roll energy, especially evident in "Black Heart Baby" - the occasional "OHH YEAHH!!" injection depicts a vocalist full of relentless passion and dedication to his job. His characteristic ear-penetrating shout sounds great, making the songs sound like they are literally just about to kick your ass big time.

The instrumentals have also improved by leaps of bounds. We're no longer dealing with monotonously paced garage-flavored punk rock, nor attempts to re-write "Wolfmother" or "Veni Vidi Vicious". Instead, many of the rawer passages draw parallels to late Led Zeppelin material, or at least the explosive songs of the band where cracking guitars and rumbling bass are most audible.

That being said, Wrong Side Of Vegas is also about writing effective garage rock catchy enough to make the most stubborn head turn back to the 70s bands. In other words, the band balances between the rock and roll and garage, on one hand wanting to write creative artistic mammoths, and on the other hand trying to write radio-friendly choruses sure to get the band some big media attention. The band is walking on a very thin line in between the two, which materializes in the notion that only half of the tracks on the album are great - "Hey Mama" and "Black Heart Baby" often have me singing along - whilst the other half are questionable stabs at re-creating the 70s atmosphere in 2008. But more importantly, Wrong Side Of Vegas don't really sound like anyone else than themselves on "Catching The Vibe", proved by the fact that as soon as any of their new songs pop up on my randomizer list, I always know it's them without looking it up.

Now, the next step is to make the songs a bit catchier without sacrificing any of the awesome rock and roll attitude their sound is so full of. Should they manage that, their debut album next year will explode them to the knowledge of all Danish music fans out there and should fill up their shows pretty quickly.

Download: Black Heart Baby
For the fans of: Wolfmother, Led Zeppelin, The Hives, The White Stripes
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.06.2008

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