They say that variety is the spice of life and when it comes to music fans, some choose to roll with this, while others completely ignore it. For musicians, the former is usually the case with new bands often looking to distinguish themselves from the crowd and older ones going in search of fresh directions. Vices are a four-piece from Jacksonville who certainly abide by the above sentiments with their latest LP, New Breed (Melatov), mixing some interesting flavours together.
Hailing from the place that spawned both The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, non-listeners may be able to guess what genre some of their influences are taken from, and they’d be right – Southern Blues Rock. On their 2012 EP, ‘The Out Crowd Blues’ this influence is more prominent, but there are a few twangs of it here as well. The other side of the mixing pot is Hardcore Punk, and while the combination may sound odd on paper, it works surprisingly well in the flesh.
Merging slow grooves with angry screams, opener ‘The Sabbath’ is our first glimpse into the albums two opposing styles, and it is also one of the best of the bunch. Trumped only by the smooth angst of the title-track, the first two songs really set the bar high for the rest of the record, and thankfully the band keep on delivering. Bringing a more fast-paced way of music with songs such as the Gallows-esque ‘Slum Wolves’ and ‘Devil’s Advocate,’ it is the middle of the album where things hit more of a hardcore punk vibe but this is no bad thing as Vices execute this style of music with great vigour. The influences of before are not completely forgotten with ‘No One Rules’ bringing together slow jams and hectic overtones, while ‘Swan Song’ closes the album with an impressive, albeit short, solo of the classic rock variety.
New Breed is a refreshing album to listen to, neither boring nor repetitive, only the ‘Instrumental’ track is worth turning off, while the rest are defiantly worth turning up. Extending a more Hardcore feel than their EP, fans of the band’s previous effort will still have plenty to love here, and the same rings true for anyone looking for melodious yet heated passion, both in musical style and lyrical content. New Breed is the kind of vice that you won’t be sorry you have and it won’t kill you either, which is always a bonus.