Vaux - There Must Be Some Way To Stop Them (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


There Must Be Some Way To Stop Them (2003)


So I reviewed this band's "On Life; Living" EP a few months ago [readable here], and I remember just being completely baffled by Vaux. Their metallic post-artcore sound was one that was lost on my ears, and I really wasn't sure what to say about the CD. Now, the band is unleashing this, their debut full length on Volcom Entertainment, and I can say with very easy assurance that it's the best thing Volcom has ever been associated with. Why all of the sudden have my ears opened up more to this band? Two words - Blood Brothers.

What do I mean, you ask? Well, shortly after I wrote off Vaux's EP as unlistenable, I received an advance copy of the new Blood Brothers album "Burn Piano Island Burn," and fell in love with their sasscore sound. Going from the complexity, depth, and all around craziness of the Blood Brothers to Vaux is like going from advanced astrophysics to pre-algebra.

That is not to say that Vaux's music isn't highly complex, either. It's just that my senses were opened up to this world through the most extreme measures neccessary, so absorbing this is a much easier feat now.

Wow, I haven't really talked about the disc at all, I should probably do that. Okay, here goes:

Vaux rocks me. Vaux rocks me hard. The band harnesses the brutal energy of old 80's punk bands like Black Flag and fuses it together with the melodicism of early-to-mid-nineties post-hardcore bands like Texas Is The Reason and Sunny Day Real Estate [pre-first breakup]. To add to it, the band utilizes not only three guitars but two keyboards, fleshing out the band's sound even more, allowing for the listener to discover hidden musical lines with each subsequent listen. From the opening salvo of the pulse-accelerating "Set It To Blow," to the Radiohead-meets-Deftones with the intensity of early Nirvana closer "Shot In The Back," this album smokes. The production is great, the liner notes and artwork look really, really good, and there are quite a few pop gems buried amid all the yelling and grinding of guitars [see "Fame" for an example]. The band isn't afraid to slow things down, either - "Four Cornered Lives" drops the heart rate down to a medium pace, but vocalist Quentin Smith barely gives you time to relax as he barrels out line after line with the intensity of a mass murderer's last words.

So, to sum up - this is really, really good agressive post-hardcore with enough melodicism and to warrant a space on my CD shelf for some time. This will be one of those bands that the metal scenesters will be talking about soon enough - beat them to the punch, will you?

Set It To Blow
Four Cornered Lives