Thursday, July 19, 2007

Band: Vidavox

Carlos Vega - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Physics of the Universe
Chris Salazar - Guitar, Pedals, Controlled Noise Pollution
Arnaldo Gonzalez - Bass, Guitar, Random Noises
Jim Miller - Drums, Lookin' Good

Vidavox isn't a jazz or jam band. Nor is it electronica, though the group does borrow certain strategies from IDM. Vidavox is a swirling amalgamation of exploratory music culled from the recesses of South Florida's underground. The outfit cranks out boundless, genre-defying sound that captures bits of classical, punk, and surf music to construct strangely captivating and melodious extended instrumental numbers. Vidavox has been playing together since 2002 and is composed of former members of Faller, Milkshed, and Lose the Rookie. They have a reputation for reaching across party lines; their performances have enthralled hardcore kids, punkers, rockers, and hip-hop backpackers alike. One demo, thirtysome-odd local shows, a finished album, no tour, and three years later they are done. This is their last show for now, as guitarist Carlos Vega heads out of town to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics. This farewell performance is also serving as a release party for their finally completed full-length album, a project that has been in the works for more than a year.

Artist: Vidavox
Album: Vidavox
Label: Self Released


o1. Hightide
o2. Last Prominence
o3. Preoccupation With Syncopation
o4. Kinematics
o5. The Movement
o6. Lowtide
o7. The Threat Of Camraderie
o8. The Rise Of Geometry
o9. Light To Lead
1o. Time Remaining
11. Sumo

Florida's Vidavox is some kind of perfectly coherent mixture of El Ten Eleven and Pelican. The band has the totally enchanting bass akin to El Ten Eleven that fluttering, ambience presence that repeatedly lulls you into a tranquil state. But also, Vidavox progresses in a way similar to Pelican, navigating through quick-paced passages to approach the heavy breakdown at the end of the tunnel. The songs on much shorter on average, generally falling between the 4-6 minute mark, but that striking sound is undeniably present. This anomaly of sounds is a smart addition to the post rock world. Its aggressive without being too heavy-handed, and artistic without being overly pretentious. By taking an intersection of two sounds that are already highly popular, maybe Vidavox can attract a cult following. The bass is the leading component of the band, with a strong drumming support that adds its own jazz flair to the mix, sometimes a strange addition to the sonic adventure. However, it is all pulled together almost effortlessly in Lowtide, which Im tempted to dub one of the best instrumental songs in recent history. A simple bass line sets the foundation while guitar support flutters in the background to a wide open sonic landscape. The drums proceed cautiously, carefully not to disrupt the harmonious build-up taking place. During the first three minutes, it becomes evident that the band is aware of the genius they are creating, and the tease is so extreme that it cannot last for long, or else they run the risk of alienating the listener. Around the half way point the pace picks up and slowly begins to accelerate the rate at which the tension is heightened. Bass lines quickly let loose a deep yawn, firing off bright flares into the night to forewarn of the coming devastation. The scene has been perfectly set and at long last the guitars begin to strike with furious passion and intensity, recalling a devout epic composition known only to Caspian. However, as soon as the realization of the songs own value is reached, it is gone receding back into the landscape with a jazzy finale that caps off the performance with an enchanting exit. For a song that doesn't even break the five minute mark, Vidavox sure packs quite a punch into Lowtide. Its thats good, just put it on repeat and enjoy.

The rest of the bands self-titled debut album offers varying forms of songwriting and the feeling of the band does change quite a bit from track to track. Although several other are stellar, such as The Threat of Comraderie, Kinematic, and Sumo, none of them offer the dramatic feeling of Lowtide. However, Vidavox shows that it is able to convincingly pull off several different types of songwriting, write one amazing song, and somehow keep everything cohesive. With a little bit of growth, this bands sophomore release is going to be monumental; its best to jump on the bandwagon now. ~ Jordan Volz

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