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Touch And Go

Vibrolush are a New York band that prides themselves on combining multipl e influences to create their own sound. Citing everyone from Led Zeppeli n to Depeche Mode, Vibrolush layer sinisterly sweet guitar melodies and c olorings with keyboard, smart songwriting and a fair sense of knowing whe n to "lay-off" of the mainstream. In this, I am alluding to the fact tha t although you'll find the sweetest elements of pop music given a definit ely unique interpretation.

As the opening "Long Way Down" demonstrates, these guys are here to chall enge you. Liquid guitar progressions combine with a textural drum ground work to produce a very pop-sensible structure. The guitars go from dream ily ethereal to fuzzy and intense without you even noticing. It's all ab out flow, and Vibrolush demonstrates that here. "Somedays" begins with a textural interlude before settling into a slower groove with slightly fu zzy guitar tone. It's easy to see how many influences have effected the band. I hear a bit of that modern pop writing with just enough oomph to keep it from being routine. The interplay between the guitars and the ba ss create an aura of mysticism that drags the listener in. "Special" con tinues along this same track. Mixtures of acoustic guitar, electric guit ar and keen pop songwriting give this one the edge over many other rock b ands out there. It sounds like they mean what they're playing...and that 's saying something. This tune could (and should) be the next tune to in fect your lame modern-rock radio charts. These guys avoid all the pitfal ls that drag so many "new rock" bands down. Yes, there's the catchy elem ent, but their vocal layers and powerful guitar intrusions keep it fresh. "Right On Time" combines a wickedly cool guitar progression with an equ ally rolling bass progression. You may hear some familiar elements here, but Vibrolush give it their own special treatment, again creating a uniq ue hybrid of style and sound. Rekindling the classic rock elements of te xtural acoustic guitar and that "sitar" sound, the closing "Sun" is a sho wcase for Phil Vassil's very pleasing vocals. That is definitely one of the strong elements of the record. He doesn't shout, he's not a whimp an d has an ultimately pleasing tone. In fact, he doesn't really recall any body-and that's a tough angle to pin down these days. On a totally diffe rent tangent, "Claim To Fame" brings in some sampling and keyboard tricks 2E Extra percussion, layered keyboard passages and unobtrusive guitar c olorings give this a life of it's own (as a matter of fact, I'm not quite sure if I've heard something so cohesive, yet diverse combined so well.) I couldn't round this review out without mentioning the sweet metal-sty led guitar lead (and I'm talking the good kind of metal style-not the ove rt wanking that ruined true metal) that rounds out "Should Have Told Me."

I was pleasantly surprised by Vibrolush. If you may have noticed, layeri ng is the key here. Combining the band's talents with the production wor k of the diverse Steve Thompson (Korn, Butthole Surfers, Rollins Band) is a key to their success. The whole project is a very balance element wit h nothing really overtaking the other, and that's important. Everything works together to paint a cohesive picture of bliss. Once again, I have been blindsided by a good band that deserves to be heard. This may not m ake my tom ten of the year, but they're damn close.

-tom topkoff

Track Listing:
1. Long Way Down
2. Touch And Go
3. Special
4. Crush
5. Just Like Heaven
6. Claim To Fame
7. Should've Told Me
8. Getaway
9. Somedays
10. Right On Time
11. Joker
12. Sun



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