Vexes - Ancient Geometry
This band came together after the band Vessl sank, leaving singer and guitarist Charlie Berezansky and guitarist John Klagholz to move on to a heavier sound. On opening cut "Helion" the heaviness comes not just from grinding guitars but also from the rhythms and fills of drummer Justin Graves and the low end from bass man Bobby Carpenter, both formerly of A Life Once Lost. Berezansky's vocals are more melodic than screamy and a liberal use of keyboards throughout tempers the overall sound. Standout tracks include the yearning "No Color" with guest Mikey Carvajal of Islander, the smoldering "Decisions are Death Here" which laments a disintegrating relationship, and the brief instrumental interlude "Meridian Response" which utilizes acoustic guitars to highlight the band's relaxed side.
Jay Katana -
Brighter Than Your Future
Since the six songs on this EP are all instrumentals, you can't rely on lyrics to figure out just exactly what this former member of Pool of Thorns is saying with the effort's title. His guitar on the other hand speaks volumes as it soars above programmed beats, waxing Satriani-esque on "No Time 2b Sorry," roughly channeling Eddie Van Halen for "Sand's Ex" and on "When She Dies" playing what sounds like the lighter side of Metallica.
Perfect Defect - Perfect Defect
Fans of Pearl Jam will hear nods to that band's "Even Flow" here in opening cut "Rollin' with G" but overall, with earthy cuts like "Treat Your Man," "My People" and "Tease Me," Perfect Defect lean toward the classic southern rock sound as defined by acts like Molly Hatchet, 38 Special and Blackfoot. "Bad Girls" is the hardest rocker of the lot but this foursome also sounds great when they stretch out with some blues as they do on "Ultra Blue."