I love a good redemption story. People go through hard times. I think that’s part of being human. There is nothing easy about being alive. For a myriad of reasons some people can go down a dark path. Some can get out, some never do and some seemed to be trapped some place in between.
The songwriter and vocalist Ray is pretty upfront about his demons on the Bandcamp page for his album We Were The Vexies by The Vexies. I surmise the making of the album was a cathartic process for him. Even If I couldn’t stand the music itself I love seeing that music seemed to be a part of the healing process for him. Enough preamble. Let's get down to the music.
We were The Vexies is a raw lo-fi album influenced by punk and post-punk to my ears. Similar to a lot of bands in this style, the music isn't particularly technically impressive. In fact the music is pretty basic sticking to 4/4 time signatures and minor and major keys. The most unique aspect to the music comes down to male and female vocals. While hardly a novel concept it worked and it was implemented quite often.
Up first is “Over My Dead Body.” I loved the gothic sounding verse and picking pattern in particular. The rocking chorus felt a little too predictable and easy of a transition but was still catchy. “Whoa! Horsey” strikes a good balance between dark tonal textures and fun, almost Rocky Horror Picture show type theatrics. The vocal harmonies were great and the vocals in general were what made the song interesting.
The band continues to plow through relatively fun yet dark songs with a good amount of success. Take for instance the instantly catchy “It Should Be So Easy.” One of my personal favorites was “Burn Brighter.” The subtle moments work better than the sections that slowly rock out. The closer “Two Bullets” was the other song that stuck out to me.
We were The Vexies is far from perfect but it has a lot of heart and emotion. I would have liked to have been a bit more more wooed in the instrumental department but the music really seemed to revolve around the vocals.
The album can surely bear some comparisons to Joy Division but I think as a whole the songs felt more upbeat. Have you listened to “The Eternal?” Overall, there is a very good balance of emotion and that's a lot of the reason this album worked for me.
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