A Vegas Marriage has been making rock & roll the old fashioned way – a guitar, a bass, some drums, and some singing. It's a tried and true formula that can't really get old. Since their inception, the New York City-based band has been playing in NYC and New Jersey and released their first EP A Vegas Marriage this year. They recorded at Red Room Studio in Staten Island and the result is pure 100% proof rock & roll.
When I started listening to A Vegas Marriage, I had an immediate sense of familiarity with their sound. It wasn't something that I could pin down to a specific aspect of the band, it was more like they were channeling a lot of stuff that I've listened to and enjoyed in the past and had distilled it down to what they felt were the essentials. And all of that was within the first two minutes of the opening track.
The start of "Don't You Ever" sounds like a Jet song and continues until you get to bassist/vocalist Matthew Pellicano's decidedly non-gravelly-voice singing about getting the upper hand in the failure of a relationship. It's a great song in spite of the chorus lacking something in the way of a hook or really sing-able melody. That's remedied in "The Outside" which features some really expansive, atmospheric background vocals during the chorus that beg to be heard again. The third track, "Breakthrough" begins in very Every Rose Has Its Thorn fashion and kind of continues that way.
The band turns the volume and the intensity back up with "Something To See,” a heavy rocker with a chaotic chorus. "Freight Train" feels just like that as it begins, with southern and blues inspired guitars driving the song steadily along. It's a brilliant use of musical alliteration and really ties the music and lyrics together. On the final track, the band moves onto a couple of acoustic guitars, turns up the reverb, and really shows the resemblance that Pellicano's voice has with Arctic Monkey's Alex Turner, albeit, Pellicano hasn't got Turner's accent. Then the guitar solo happens.
This is a pretty good record with some solid tunes, though it does feel like there's a bit of a chasm between the music itself and the lyrics sung over it on occasion. A bit more cohesion between the two would have been beneficial but besides this minor issue the record delivers.
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