Electronic music and rock music… combining these two is like combining two base elements to form a new compound element. While the two base elements are very reactive on their own, when combined they create something that sometimes cannot be contained. Electro-rock has seen a lot bands with different styles, sounds, metamorphoses, and different attempts to create a great original sound out of the blend of the two genres. There are some good bands, there are some bad bands, and then there are the bands that stand out not necessarily because they’re the best talent-wise or because how they write their songs, but because they’ve used their abilities to create an elemental sound that is very refreshing to the ears and something that hasn’t been enjoyed via my worn out Spotify playlist yet this year. Vinyl Thief has successfully created a badass musical blend that merely makes sense. Kinda like peanut butter and jelly, the two just fucking work.
The quartet from Nashville was in New York this week playing Mercury Lounge in celebration of their album release. Titled Fathoms, the ten-track album showcases vocalists Grayson Proctor, who has a sharp tenor voice similar to that of Marc Roberge of O.A.R. I feel what really makes the band sound sonically attractive, is the chemical balance of guitar/drum and electronic instrumentation. You can hear pop influences throughout the album in guitar riffs and choruses, but the simplicity of mixing the two styles is their greatest asset. There’s no attempt to overkill with too much synth or too much guitar, it really is a perfect musical balance of dynamics, tone, harmonics, and just great song arrangement. My two favorite songs off the album are ‘Smooth’ and ‘Slow Down’. You can hear some Keane and Coldplay-esque pop in other songs, but those two seem to have a great notation/melody mixture that really showcases the bands signature sound to the core.
Their performance was a whole separate animal in itself. Having the early show slot of the night, the band created a fantastic performance made up of songs off the new album as well as off previous two EPs, 2012’s Rebel Hill and Stop Motion, which was released earlier this year. The mixture of their recorded musical genres really came to life in front of a live audience, who couldn’t help but get sucked into the rock side, while succumbing to dancing to the electronic stuff as well. Of course a cool, unique cover to Sir EJ’s ‘Benny & The Jets’ was just a small taste of how the band liked to have fun. The illusive and mysterious style and charisma of the band is something that also clutched my attention by the throat. Their showmanship and almost rockstar styles gave the band a mixed image between throwback, and new school confidence.
Article by: Tom Shackelford