Friday, November 12, 2010

All I Know Is That Vanity Kills

I am more than a little excited to bring you this new band today. In fact, you could say that I'm practically bursting because I know that these guys are gonna totally blow you all away. Like I've mentioned before, I'm searching for new avenues to explore for you guys, so that you're getting a musical fix from every corner of the world, and every sub-genre in the rock family. This is one of those new fixes that will have you guys searching frantically for more music by this band; I know it. With a sound that's slick and rejuvenating, this group will wash you away in power chords and blast-off choruses like you haven't been in years.
Out of Kortrijk, West Flanders, Belgium, All I Know is Ward Dufraimont on lead vocals and guitar, Michaël Neyt on lead guitar and backing vocals, Amély Mondy on bass, and Bram Steemans live on drums. If these guys (and girl) have anything at all going for them, it's dynamically smooth vocals set atop blasting power chords and sparkling note progressions. Filling in the spaces between are hard-edged bass-lines and drums that will have you banging your head like you did the first time you heard "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me." One thing I love about this group is their old-school approach to song structure. There's definitely something to be said for the two or three verses with choruses in between, and a sick solo over a rhythmic bridge. Today the classic guitar riff is underestimated, but there's a reason it's classic. For this kind of stadium rock, there's nothing better than the formula that these guys use to shoot me full of adrenaline and rock nostalgia.
All I Know's newest effort, Vanity Kills, was rereleased worldwide on October 29th, and I'm most certainly be one of the people trying to scrape together a few bucks to get it. If nothing else, the first track I hear from it is pure rock gold. There's nothing I can say about the track "Rain" other than it's just perfect. Starting with a sick dual guitar riff by Dufraimont and Neyt, "Rain" is something halfway in between a power-ballad and a full-out rock anthem. The building in the song is incredible, and the energy only gets higher as the pressure finally breaks free in a sonic firestorm of notes and Bon Jovi-esque vocals in the chorus. I particularly love the lyrics in this song, but one thing that can't be overstated is how Mondy uses her bass to drive everything higher and faster, and I'm sure that live Steemans just kills on the drums. The solo here is like something out of 1986, and I love it. A musical mix of Bon Jovi's guitars, Def Leppard's rhythm section, and Scorpions' sharpened vocals, "Rain" is, if nothing else, a killer song to have, and one that Vanity Kills certainly benefits from. This has to be the first song you listen to by AIK. Hearing it for the first time actually sent chills down my spine, so that should tell you all you need to know.
AIK keeps things at full blast with the next track, "Into Your Heart." Clearly inspired by Bon Jovi with perhaps a little vocal inspiration by Bruce Springsteen, The Boss himself, "Into Your Heart" has not only a great chorus that will stick in your heard all day and every night, but also an intro the likes of which I can honestly say I haven't heard since the first time I heard Bon Jovi's "Runaway." The keyboard intro is so retro it actually sounds like it belongs in an '80s teen movie. Dufraimont's vocals have a great rhythm and tone, and you can tell that Neyt is just itching to let go on his guitar, which he eventually does during the solo. Letting loose in a flurry of notes and chords, Neyt works well with Mondy and the drums to create an audio tapestry of color and emotion. The lyrics "never gonna stop until I break into your heart" are words every person can connect to and that's something that makes All I Know's sound accessible to any listener.
The last track for me, "All Night Long," is a mix of hair-metal glitz and hard-rock edge. Starting with a Poison-esque riff, All I Know quickly pick up the pace and already I can feel this one as the feel-good song of the album. The vocals and rhythm are curiously Va Halen in reminder and effect, but once the chorus comes up, it's everything Poison and Def Lep with a partying groove and great lyrics. The solo is as original as anything I've ever heard, and with clear influences by Zeppelin and Aerosmith, and maybe a little KISS too, All I Know strikes gold again. This would be a great track for any radio play, college or commercial, and is one that could definitely bring new listeners to the station. As for other uses, I'm thinking the soundtrack ending to a great teen movie or a camp slideshow, and of course a killer encore at any show. If All I Know did everything else wrong, "All Night Long" would certainly make up for it. Luckily, that's not the case at all.
I can't wait to see the reaction to Vanity Kills. This album is gonna sound like nothing we've heard in a very long time. For the people who grew up in and love the '80s, it's gonna be a nostalgic kickback to the glory days of high school, and for us younger people, it's gonna be a refreshing breath of melodic metal in a world where such albums have become few and far between. If there was ever a band to rekindle the love and interest in Def Leppard's working-metal sound, All I Know is it. Vanity Kills is just their first strike out, and from the sounds on this record, it's apparent that it won't be their last. Not by a long shot.

Sounds Like: Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Scorpions

Key Tracks from Vanity Kills: "Rain," "Into Your Heart," All Night Long"

Check out All I Know more at: and

1 comment:

  1. Hey great review, and indeed, the album is awesome. One pointer: "but one thing that can't be overstated is how Mondy uses his bass to drive everything higher and faster" - she uses her bass ;-)


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