Nico Vega

Nico Vega

Written by: TL on 17/11/2009 00:05:36

A few reviews ago, I spoke of some of the advantages to being a reviewer who constantly gets buried in new music. One that I didn't mention is that you get to experience every once in a while, that a band comes along and incarnates the exception to the rule - the rule being one of the preconceptions that it's hard not to develop in this line of "work". I mention this of course because it has so happened with tonight's first subject, the band Nico Vega, and their fourth LP, which bears the same name.

Now what I'm getting at is, that I often criticize bands for sporting singers who, while technically alright, do not manage to empower their singing with the kind of personality that it requires if one wants to really leave a mark on a listener's memory. I find this to be especially true about female singers, for one reason or another, but in the case of Nico Vega's singer Aja.. well, let's just say that woman have effectively shut me the hell up. On this album of theirs, Aja sings with so much passion and unrestrained rock'n'roll attitude that I don't even know where to begin describing it. You could think of Manchester Orchestra or, in moments, even of Mindless Self Indulgence, that's how manic and characteristic the singing is, and as such, it makes even a new listener like me, all the more interested in getting intimate with this band. A band that sports two other members, Rich on guitar and Dan on drums, and don't you dare go and assume that a trio as such is forced to operate with a flattened soundscape, because on here, nothing could be further from the truth.

No sir, in fact, there are enough added bits and pieces of sounds coming from God knows where, to keep you interested for long after Aja's vocals have reeled you in. The first three songs, "Burn Burn", "Million Years" and "So So Fresh" all give off such a pressing, electronic vibe that I am in fact reaching once more for the MSI reference, even if it is ever so slight, it is either that or a nod towards Reggie And The Full Effect. With the more mellow tracks that follow, "Living Underground" and "Wooden Dolls" things start sounding more mellow, at least momentarily, and in any case more traditionally rock, removing Nico Vega to a place closer to Manchester Orchestra, or as with the deranged "Gravity", to The Matches. It is in this "mode" that Nico Vega find themselves as they churn out their most memorable songs here in the middle of the album, namely "Be Giving", "Iron Man" and "Family Train", all three of which will take up residency in your mind after very few visits, while showcasing that the band can impress, both with entirely tender songs like "Iron Man" and with loud and energetic hell raisers like "Family Train".

However, Nico Vega aren't quite done cat walking their wardrobe, because as can be heard on "Medicine Man", they also have some very folk/country-ish outfits to show, something that's emphasized on "CMS", a "House Of The Rising Sun"-reminiscent track that fools you into thinking it's the closing cut. Again you'll be fooled though, because the album actually closes with one of its best and loudest moments, namely "Beast", which really rocks the listener, leaving us exhilarated an wanting for more. It concludes an album that has certainly been a surprise from an unsuspected angle, at least to this scribe, and in sporting fourteen tracks of attitude-filled, hard-as-hell-to-pigeonhole, grows-on-each-listen music, the only thing that's left to ask is: When can I see this live?


Download: Iron Man, Be Giving, Medicine Man, Family Train, Beast
For The Fans Of: The Matches, Manchester Orchestra, Reggie And The Full Effect, Mindless Self Indulgence

Release Date 03.02.2009
MySpace Records

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