VINCENT BLACK SHADOW - Vincent Black Shadow (Heartbreakbeat Records)
First off, this sorely neglected album from 2006 is the sound of methamphetamine users listening to the Stooge's "Funhouse" nonstop while on a two week binge. It's that crazed!!
Every song is a journey into the white trash soul, possessed with thoughts of copping that next hit and heading back to the trailer park to vegetate - watch TV. Generally, their lives are directionless, but for a few minutes they remain focused on that astral plane, where their tour guide Mr. Osterberg and his crew consisting of the Asheton Brothers and a man named Rock Action, lead them to a immortal well of musical history. The journey Vincent Black Shadow Black Shadow have taken to drink from that cosmic well is evident in this awe producing debut.
"Child of Orion" leads things off and it begins with a drumbeat. A droning guitar ricochets off the drums before heading into the signature Ron Asheton street punk wah-wah riffing that the Stooges were legendary for on "Funhouse" It's absolutely killer and to top it off, the vocalist Adam is a dead ringer for Iggy. On the next track, "Real Wood", there's more excessive wah-wah riffing, and incredible time signatures. At one point in the track, the bass adds incredible drive and depth while the two guitarists of VBS, Dave and Dan O, just zone off into the stratosphere with their sub wah-wah riffing.
For me, the album really reaches sheer brilliance from the consecutive punch of "Colors and Feelings", "Aint No Law" and "Raoul". The intensity and power of these tracks really have to be heard. Julian Cope, on his web site, noted that these guys from Baltimore, MD have mastered that incredible recorded drum sound from"Funhouse". I have to totally agree with Mr. Cope's assessment. I have been infatuated with that recording for years. All pure - no B.S. recording. Vincent Black Shadow fully understand the fine nuances of that recording. As a result, the recording jumps at you from all angles: riffing, propulsive drumming and a full bottom from the bass. Which leaves Adam, as many fine singers have done in the past, to expound on his cathartic, psychodrama driven lyrics.
As for a debut, this album is head and shoulders above most band's first recordings. The steady playing and creative songwriting really paid big dividends for this young band. I look forward to hearing more of their releases in the future. - Arthur S
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