Vaz Demonstrations in Micronesia

[Load; 2003]

Styles: hardcore, anthemic rock, glam-punk
Others: Jesus Lizard, Unwound, Hammerhead

Muthafuck, is this shit good! From the ashes of the great shredders, Hammerhead, comes an immense declaration of raw ROCK power. The Stooges are definitely an influence here, but these guys are thicker and brasher than anything Iggy and his pals have done. And there's only two of them! The vocals might be off-putting to some, since they come a little close at times to the doom-laden croonings of a Misfits-era Glenn Danzig. But matched with the winningly fuzzed-out (think Godheadsilo or Dead Meadow and you're pretty close) and versatile playing abilities of the guitarist and drummer, you'll most likely be willing to overlook it. Yeah, this kind of thing has been done by The Melvins for years, but these two bring a little less sludge and a little more songwriting ability to the table. While the songs are all barn burning flashfires, there is an insistent focus on structure and melody that elevates the material.

While Demonstrations In Micronesia is nothing revolutionary, fans of Unwound (like myself) will eat it right up. It captures all the dark, blistering glory of Unwound's earlier recordings, albeit with a tad more ferocity at play. What makes this a 4.5 rather than a 4 is the fact that it plays like some hidden rock 'n roll gem that isn't trying to do something so much as it's doing it, flawlessly. Track six sounds the most like the Stooges, and its the most anthemic song on the album. Since I'm not the kind of reviewer, or music fan, that pays much attention to lyrics, I have nothing to say about them here. They're pretty muffled anyhow. But if I may be so bold, lyrics are the least important aspect to a band. Band's that focus on sending a message through lyrics frequently step on song structure, and to me that takes away the whole point of listening in the first place. That said, for those who want enjoyably dark rock opus without the trappings of attention stealing tortured-soul suicide poem vocals, look no further. Vaz'll yank yr crank from your body and spin it lifelessly in mid-air. (I assure you, this is a good thing.)

1. Blocked By Satellites
2. Meld w/U-90
3. The Rheumatist
4. No Woman/No Cry
5. Forgotten Classic
6. Statik Electrik
7. Amateur Spark Era
8. Unfinished Pair of Brains
9. Treble Noir
10. Closer Still