The Visis is a band comprised of Russell Edlund (guitar), Brandon Kenney (drums) and Mike Stich (bass) that recently released a full-length album entitled Improve My Utility. The music they play lies somewhere between Do Make Say Think and Tortoise. It’s all-instrumental and was recorded, mixed and mastered by Russell Edlund at his studio/practice space on Pro Tools in one day. The recording quality isn’t very good but nonetheless serves as a decent demo they can shop around until they lay down a more professional sounding recording.
Musically, they have some skills and it was actually refreshing to hear instrumental rock music that veered from the typical staples of post-rock. The guys implement math rock with a tinge of jazz occasionally. It’s full of cascading guitar scales, dynamic percussion and inventive bass lines. They change it up enough to keep it engaging even if the lack of additional instrumentation makes the songs feel fairly limited.
The songs are short. They get in and out quickly, which I thought was an effective way to display some of their core ideas. If they wanted to they could have dragged out some of the songs but I think they made a wise decision not to.
They kick things off with “Scurvy Nave,” which has no build up and goes right into the meat and potatoes of the song. They fill in a good amount of substance in the minute-and-a-half song. The second track “Super Pig” strips away the distortion for the first half and when it does come in the quality of the recording holds it back from being an impactful transition. A highlight amongst the tracks is “Split The Bill,” which has some of the slickest playing on the record. It implements tension and release, rhythmically complex timing and inventive guitar technique.
Overall this record is hit and miss. It displays some talent but nothing that you hasn't been before. That being said it does show potential and ideas that could be expanded and flushed out. If they are going to want to be on the level of similar acts like Do Make Say Think and Tortoise they will have to spend some more time in the studio and produce something more polished.
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