I have to say this upfront: not many bands know how to play the blues these days. We could blame this to modern music or the fact that there are a lot of musicians that do not value skills in the same way, but I think it’s a bit deeper than that–I am of the belief that the feeling of the blues is something that has become hard to capture these days.
So when people tell that there’s new group that combines rock with blues I tend to be a bit reluctant to listen, but, heck, there are times that you are surprise in the best possible way and this is something that The Vics have accomplished with me in their latest singles, Fourth and Clay and Proud.
The Pittsburgh-based band is one of Blues Rock’s hottest commodities, achieving a somewhat instantaneous impact through their 2017 releases, which were a self-released EP named Sparrow –a delightful introduction to a group still in its embryonic stage- and their self-titled debut showing that, despite their youth, they can play like the best.
Doing singles as appetizers for an upcoming album can always be a complicated affair because it shows glimpses of what you’re trying to do, but want to keep a few things under your sleeve–it’s pretty similar to a film trailer. Having said that, these two tracks are a good showing and a fine example that you don’t have to be overly energetic or explosive in order to gain people’s attention with your music–you just need to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Fourth and Clay is an interesting combination of the old with the new, focusing a lot of the small details in each guitar part and creating a relaxing and yet stylish vibe. This is a song that flows naturally, complemented with vocals that fit it like a glove and narrate the lyrics with such cool demeanor that you can’t help but to enjoy it. The melodies stay in your mind after just one listen, thus becoming a relaxing and fascinating track to listen to over and over again. I’m a guitar guy myself, so it’s always fun to listen to such a minimalist approach to the way of playing the strings.
On the other hand, Proud is a bit more somber and even a tad slower compared to Fourth and Clay, thus making a bigger difference. The feeling this song has is very special, creating a captivating atmosphere which explodes with a flowing and natural chorus –a chorus that feels like a coherent progression from what we have heard before, which is not very common these days. The single itself might be a bit short, in my opinion, but its three and a half minutes are deeply seized, so I can’t really complaint.
These two singles are great examples of what modern blends of Rock and Blues should be, without exaggerating in its reliance to digital productions or the excesses of trying too hard–these two songs feel natural, so it’s a nice change of pace from what we have heard these days.
The Vics are coming and this is great news for someone that wants good music. – Kevin Tanza