Vices - The Out Crowd Blues [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Out Crowd Blues [7-inch] (2012)

Melotov Records

Vices pull the interesting experiment of meshing Southern blues rock with East Coast hardcore on The Outcrowd Blues. Such a combination isn't inherently obvious, especially comparing the generally laggardly pace of one and the fist pounding of the other.

And, that's what makes the blending of the two so difficult. As demonstrated by the opener, the band plays Southern blues rock as competently as even ZZ Top. Similarly, on "Ramblin'" the band smashes along with the same energy, power and ferocity of Bane. Indeed, as a strictly hardcore band, Vices are better than most. But, while the band is competent in both punk and blues, the styles never quite seem to mesh, with one usually taking precedence over the other.

Most of the songs are footed in modern hardcore. When they drop blues riffing over the top, the guitar lines work with the pounding of drums, but don't necessarily seem distinctively bluesy. Perhaps because the cadence of modern hardcore is so identifiable, the blues half has trouble creeping through, and seems to just be more metallic guitar than blues or Southern rock.

Still, the band does have some success. On "Wearing Thin," when the tempo slows, the blues licks take center stage, and give the band an almost dark metal feel and it works. The band has something special here; they just need to find out a way to shift between their two poles and also how to make the powerful identifiers of each work in conjunction instead of competition.