There's a moment during "The First and Last," the third track on Vannon's Desert of Our Dreams, where the music takes on a loose, (dare we say it?) jazzy feel, as guitars can be heard improvising over a spacious sonic bed. Of course, it does eventually crank up loud and proud. However, it's this early musical moment that helps set this Oakland, CA band apart from so many other - let's come right out and say it - generic hard rock bands. Vannon is clearly ahead of the pack.
Max Hodes is the band's guitarist/singer, who can sound both smooth and rough, vocally, sometimes within the very same track. One called "Above the Stars" even has acoustic guitar sections. Then on "Took Off Running," the band applies group vocals that sound - and I'm not kidding here - a little like a Bruce Springsteen work.
Yes, there's a whole lot of variety going on here. And yes, this is still a hard rock group. But if you assume just that hard rock assessment, and not also allow for so much more, you're basically missing Vannon's eclectic sound by a country mile.
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