Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Feeling the Vibration 9

Hey guys. So sorry it's been like a freakin week since my last post, but college stuff had to get done (and still does this week lol), and I had my cousin's Bat-Mitzvah this weekend, so it was a busy three days.
Anyway, never mind all that now. I've been searching hard all week for a group that will make all this time gone by better, and I think I've found them. Out of Montreal, Canada, I give you Vibration 9, a sick alternative/progressive-rock group that just rocked my out to the point that I had to dip my head in the sink because my face was so melted.
Composed of Stephan (vocals, guitar and piano), Mary (vocals and flute), JP (guitar, vocals and keyboards), Hugo (bass and percussion), and Bruno (drums and percussion), with special guests Hai Ly (cello), and James Cameron Chen (violin), Vibration 9 takes alternative/progressive-rock to a whole new domain. With these seven people at the helm of their group, V9 can't steer itself wrong with Pink Floyd-inspired tracks and Black Sabbath-inspired riffs.
The first track I listen to from their new EP Breakout, is "We Are of No Beginning." This track starts with a pretty cool guitar riff that segues nicely into a pick-slide, and a riding drumbeat. Stephan takes the lead on the vocals, but Mary catches up quickly, as JP finds his niche on the guitar, laying down a great set of riffs and note progressions. Meanwhile, Hugo and Bruno (love the rhyming names by the way lol) collaborate on a fantastic level, and about halfway in, as JP is making the guitar shriek, Hugo's bass is clearly audible in a sweet solo, with Bruno keeping time on the high-hats and base-drum. As much as I enjoy JP's guitar playing, though, throughout the whole song, I particularly like it after Hugo's bass solo. Here I can clearly hear him riffing as Stephan and Mary seamlessly pick right back up with the vocal sets. The Bruno falls into a great drum roll, and we get a rare moment where Mary sings solo. Then to hear Stephan coming in behind her; bliss. We move out on a pick-slide down the frets, and all is good with the world.
Track two has one of the greatest titles I've seen yet: "I Like You Naked." This one begins a little softer, on an acoustic guitar, but quickly moves away from anything normal, unless you count Jethro Tull. Mary's flute is front and center, and she rocks that thing for all it's worth. Granted it's only a few notes right now in the beginning of the track, but she makes that flute sing, and already this track is like nothing I've ever heard before. Stephan's vocals are soft, yet introspective, and I'm torn between thinking of Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd, but then I have to add Black Sabbath and Dio as JP slides in on the guitar in a true Tony Iomi fashion, and Hugo and Bruno lay down an almost Dio-esque beat. The guitar playing here, well Stephan and JP certainly make the statement that they are influenced by such groups as the Scorpions and Black Sabbath. Actually, this track is eerily reminicent of Led Zeppelin's "Stariway to Heaven," which would make sense since Zeppelin seems to be one of their major influences. Then Mary takes the lead on vocals, and later, as she and Stephan finish up the second chorus, JP flies away on a guitar solo that Jimmy Page can fuss over because he didn't write it. And then we're done. This track: as many thumbs up as anyone will let me give. Absolutely 100%.
The third track is a little more removed from the previous two, owing more to a harder metal-esque edge, and less to a "Stariway to Heaven" appraoch. "The Portal," though, still has the great edge that just broadcasts a Tony Iomi influence, even if that part was unintended. Though this track is a little shorter, also, than the other two, it certainly holds its own on the record. Keep in mind, though, that it's only a rough mix, and things can only get better from here.
Chen and Ly don't seem to make dramatic appearences on these tracks (though I could be wrong, and be missing them since they might be contributing to the overall background sound), but I am sure that on the other tracks of the album they must add something special to the music. I can only speculate a sound along the lines of Led Zeppelin and Dio mixed with Apocalyptica and Jethro Tull. I guess I'll have to listen to the whole EP to find out for sure. And that, my friends, is what I highly reccomend to you. Even if they don't seem like your cup of tea, I assure you that with a group like this, everyone can find something they love. Check them out, or you'll be missing out. And trust me, you don't want that.

Sounds Like: Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Dio, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd

Key Tracks from Breakout: "We Are of No Beginning," "I Like You Naked," "The Portal"

Check out Vibration 9 more at: http://www.vibration9.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1, http://www.myspace.com/vibration_9 and http://www.unsigned.com/vibration9

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