Reviewed – Vex Red – Air

Rating – 3/5

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London based five-piece Vex Red has brought out another single from their EP “Give Me The Dark” to whet the appetite before their upcoming tour of the UK. “Air” sits in the middle of their five-track EP and was released in November last year, following on from the opener off the EP “Tarantula”, which landed back in June.

Discordant synths and a haunting vocal pervade “Air” and give it a bleak, foreboding, industrial introduction. This contrasts nicely with the much more melodic and almost anthemic chorus, showing Abbott’s vocal dexterity nicely. The light and dark of the track gives it a lift from a mere mechanical dirge and gives it a greater sense of poignancy and meaning.

The interaction of the vocals with the rhythm section is well executed and the blending of the riffs that lift and drums that anchor it shows the pedigree and experience of the band.

If you ever wondered what Muse would sound like if you blended in Korn, Suede and even the accessibility of the early Foo Fighters then this is the band. Whilst it ticks many of the boxes of the industrial rock/metal genre which is a good thing, there’s an element of the familiar about it. It feels like you’ve heard it before somewhere but yet doesn’t sound derivative or paint by numbers. The intro is evil Matt Bellamy, the middle section pure Jonathan Edwards and then the anthemic outro a blend of Dave Grohl and Brett Anderson. Quite a ride. The song ends with a confidence that belies the persistent lyric of “these faces make me nervous” and the strident rock riff wouldn’t be out of place on any major release. It definitely resonates with the chanted lyric of “shed your grievance” and serves to suitably shut the track down. It dovetails perfectly with the next track “So I Can Sleep”, lending the release a coherence an EP usually craves but you’ll have to check out the whole thing for more of that.

They’re only about for six shows but appear at iconic venues such as Manchester’s FAC 251 and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow, after starting the ball rolling in Leeds on Feb 20th. Get out and catch them while you can

Review by James Clinch

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