Vannon’s Desert of Our Dreams is Hardcore

By Deuce

It’s uncertain when the last time was that anyone heard anything similar to that which is found on Vannon’s Desert of Our Dreams LP. Maybe never. The Oakland, California based group is perhaps post-apocalyptic in its outlook and music. It’s difficult to ascertain which it came up with first, but both are as unrestrained, and perhaps as dooming, as this art form and any attendant philosophy can be.

The singers don’t so much sing as they growl on certain numbers, such as “Two Snakes”—although there’s moments in the track in which some well timed screaming supplants the former. But the tune itself is unbridled, chaotic, a dark journey into something or someplace in which the drumming is rabid, the electric guitars incessant, and the fury of the combination is undeniable. The opening number, “Call Up A Storm”, which serves as fair warning if ever there was one, issues a hint of what’s to come in terms of the sonic bedlam soon to assault listeners.

The only other precursor of what one is in for on this LP is likely found in the group’s insignia, which has some serious symbolism. Even a perfunctory glance at the static shapes and sculpted lines—much like some of the music found on this album—reveals something akin to Masonic symbols, a third eye, and perhaps even the world itself depicted in some of the orbs.

Plus, with tracks like “Above the Stars”, “A Cold July”, and “I Come to Destroy”, it’s perfectly obvious the group (consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist Max Hodes, keyboardist and background vocalist Sven Pazarek, bassist Nick Willbrand, and drummer Mike Lawson) has some serious convictions. This sentiment is certainly evinced on “The First and Last”, which wields eerie keys, damn near a minute’s worth of introduction, and Hodes singing without the extra histrionics on some of the other tunes—or at least not until he reaches the hook and belts out “the end is here”.

It’s truly something how the man can go from relatively normal, dare we say staid singing, to the high pitched banshee notes he produces as the drums and bass punctuate every sound he makes, the pace and volume of the tune accelerating as quickly as a beating heart in the wake of this musical maelstrom.

There’s no telling what the future may hold, but listening to this album, you just might just catch a sneak peak of it.

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