Villains is a three-piece band located in El Monte, CA. The band consisting of Edgar Dominguez (vocals/guitar), William Franco (drums) and Mariana Alvarez (bass/back up vocals) started playing in August 2014 and already are off to a promising start. The band released Midnight Tasting, which showcases dark, swampy rock songs that you wouldn’t mind playing in the background of True Detective.
The production is a little above average for a DIY but still lacks that magic you expect from a professional recorded album. That being said the instrumentation was separated well, the low-end wasn’t muddy and the vocals fit in the mix rather than on top of it.
“Afterthought” is a sleek, mysterious sounding opener that establishes the mood for the rest of the album. Little nuances like selected delayed vocals are effective details that enhance the experience. The verse is driven by the bass and drums while the guitar strums a chord every measure or so. They rock out during the chorus. It’s a typical soft/loud dynamic approach that was predictable but well done.
“Explorer” follows a similar formula in that the bass and drums drive the verse and the distorted guitar comes in full throttle during the chorus to rock. The most interesting part is the Marilyn Manson like whispered vocals, which I wish lasted a bit longer.
The highlight was “Eighteen” which melds a bit of noir into the mix. They create a kinetic, apprehensive atmosphere where the lyrics fall in line with the mood. Dominguez sings, “I was just following my blurred heart in this night, navigating through desperation felt alright, I looked up and got shot down her loaded eyes did not miss, my soul sank my heart chilled could this be my bliss?”
The band certainly shows potential on Midnight Tasting. They aren't there yet but this is pretty impressive for how little they have been making music.
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