Aug 10, 2011

[REVIEW] Vessel - Elements (Demo)

My music tastes cover virtually every style and manner of music that's out there.  Hip hop, classical, Jazz, Rock, R&B, a tad bit of Opera, and even some country and bluegrass.

So there's very little music that I can't get with, but it has to be good music.  It can be my favorite type of music in the world, but if the music sucks, then it sucks plain and simple.  Nothing you can really sugarcoat that with to make it more palatable.

I had never heard of the group, Vessel, before two days ago.  Last year I helped fund the debut album by indie artist Joshua Watkinson, who's album was fantastic and you can read my review HERE and then check out the interview I did with him HERE.   After listening to his album, I added him on facebook, and set up the interview.


The other day he posted up a call to arms, so to speak, to support Vessel in their Kickstarter campaign.  They were from the same neck of the woods that Joshua is from, and they were looking to record their full length album after having done a demo entitled "Elements".


Based on his word alone, I kicked in ten bucks to support them, because I believe you HAVE to support independent music, if you want good quality music to survive that's untainted by the industry.

Soon afterwards I got a link from the band to get the demo.  This was surprising to me because I wasn't expecting it that soon.  So I downloaded it and loaded it into Itunes and then got lost in some other things and didn't get to it right away.

Then this morning I couldn't sleep and figured and after listening to some political podcasts that I subscribe to, I gave the demo a listen and was blown away.  I've never been good at describing a sound or a type of music before.  I suppose the easiest way would be to say "this group sounds like THAT group" to which everyone is like "ohhhhh yeah, okay I gotcha."

Now the risk of that, as I pointed out in my review of Watkinson's debut, is that suppose you say "oh they sound just like Group X" and you have half the people saying "oh I hate Group X, f*** that." and don't bother listening, and then the other half saying "hey, I like Group X!, Lemme listen to this."

And of course the ideal situation is to get everyone to listen, not just those who like another artist that you've so cavalierly associated them with.

However, I think in this case there is one glaring comparison that can be made, that I think is both appropriate and complimentary, and that is that Vessel's debut has this overall feel to it, both musically and atmospherically, that is very much like "Explosions In The Sky", the experimental rock band that is most known for their instrumental scores to the hit TV series "Friday Night Lights".

I remember watching that show for the first time and being in awe of the music.  It fits perfectly with that show, and it creates this overall atmosphere that is at times haunting, at times joyous, and always evoking emotional responses from within. It's not something that you are ambivalent about.  You don't listen to the Friday Night Lights theme music during the intro credits and have no emotional response, unless you're dead inside.  So to speak.

Vessel's demo that I have been listening to on repeat has that very same vibe to it, and is very good.   I encourage everyone to look up in the top corner of my blog and click on the Kickstarter page, and contribute whatever you can.  $1, $5, $10, $20, or even higher if you can.  Listen to the clip I've posted below, and if that's your thing, then I encourage you to support a solid effort by a really good indie band.

Good music has to be rewarded, folks.  Otherwise we get album after album of bland music from the labels that doesn't take risks, that doesn't venture outside of a proven formula and doesn't make you feel anything.

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