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Vanna - Curses

  by Alex Halls

published: 21 / 6 / 2007

Vanna  - Curses
Label: Epitaph Records
Format: CD


Explosive, if occasionally contrived debut album from New England-based metal/post-hardcore act Vanna

Vanna’s debut metal/post-hardcore offering, 'Curses', combines screaming vocals with intermittent, softer vocal tones, providing an explosive album that can’t fail but wake the most dormant of spirits. It’s, however, with the softer vocals that 'Curses' feels too contrived: the efforts to bring more harmony to the piece unfortunately fail miserably. Others have managed it, but nowadays it’s usually a step too far for most. From the state of New England, Vanna release 'Curses' on the Epitaph label; certainly no mean feat and immediately indicates a certain level of quality. Heavier than 2005’s EP, 'The Search Party Never Came', but losing none of the melody, 'Curses' represents where the alternative scene tried to go, vaguely arrived but soon departed. It’s never been easy to master the mix of discord and harmony; many have quickly given up trying. In the spirit of seeing things through to the end, hopefully Vanna can break with that tradition. Vanna are truly committed to music and tour like they’ve never been told they can stop. Formed in 2004, the quintet focus on aurally assaulting the listener, employing a cycle of pain infliction and soothing aftercare. 'Curses' has brutality at its tip and torture in its soul. It is unrelenting, right until its very end, a quality their record label can’t praise them highly enough for. Where Vanna succeed, at the same time they fail to capitalise on the stronger elements of the album. The electro-static, eerie beginning to 'Home' and the fizzing bassline to 'Trophy Wives' both fail to last long enough to make a real impact. Fair play to the band for erring away from over-kill They had, however, only just sown the seeds of destruction in our minds, before they have plunged us head-first into all-out war. It’s all about prolonging the anticipation and that never really happens. It is difficult to assign much more than an ‘adequate’ level to most music being produced in this genre nowadays. Vanna inevitably fall into that category. 'Curses' doesn’t set the world alight and has major failings but it’s not an album to chuck out of the stereo too quickly. As mood dictates, it’s more of a question of plucking a few tracks out and concentrating on them only. As a debut effort 'Curses' isn’t bad but now’s the time to make those vital amends to Vanna’s style. Roll on the next effort.

Track Listing:-
1 The Alarm
2 The Vanishing Orchestra
3 Surgical Tools
4 The Things He Carried
5 Magnetic Knives
6 Trophy Wives
7 Home
8 Country Boys...Goddamn
9 Heavens to Betsy
10 We Ate The Horse
11 This Map Is Old News
12 You Were Never Lovelier

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