Vanna - The Search Party Never Came (Cover Artwork)


The Search Party Never Came (2006)


I've already stated this twice before, and unfortunately I will have to do it again. Epitaph, a label once synonymous with skatepunk, hardcore, and straight-forward punk rock have broadened their horizons, albeit negatively, the past few years by mining trends like nü-emo, metalcore, and arena screamo. There was Matchbook Romance and From First to Last followed by bands like Escape the Fate and Day of Contempt. Now come Vanna.

The Search Party Never Came is an EP full of everything you've come to expect from more emo-influenced metalcore acts. Two vocalists, one buried and growling, the other whiny and "melodic," singing and screaming lines like "with eyes gouged out these tears of blood fall, for blood is all she's crying," "the walls were crawling with your insides / your heart was shining like a chandelier," and "one cut from this knife and we'll bleed out our insides." Meanwhile the music shifts from chugging guitars, double-bass beats and guitar screeching to major key octave chord choruses and soft note picking.

Over the course of the EP the songs seem to alternate between more traditional metal-influenced hardcore and Underoath-style tunes. On the former only the Cookie Monster vocalist is allowed out to play and the guitars stay crunchy, while on the latter big choruses and softer breakdowns interrupt the heavy segments.

What is most disappointing about The Search Party Never Came is that Vanna make it clear that they can't hold their own in an already oversaturated genre. While the guitar playing leans towards metal at points, it never really breaks into metal's virtuosity, and while the melodic vocals are a nice change after hearing nothing but grunts and screams, they never really offer significantly memorable parts, leaving the listener with an EP that immediately sounds familiar and almost as quickly grows old.