Vectralux’s The Subtle Extravaganza is The Real Issue

By Deuce

It greatly appears, simply by running through Vectralux’s latest project, the six-cut Extended Player The Subtle Extravaganza, which is due out at the end of April, that the quartet is at the stage of making music where it knows what it’s doing so well that it only gives you the good stuff.

That fact is evinced nearly everywhere on this outing, from the title of the opus to that of the tunes. “Agonizing Reappraisal” and “Dopamine” particularly stand out in this respect. This tendency irradiates in the music as well, with “Dopamine” an exemplar of it. There’s a surfeit of electric guitars, granted, but the bass line on here is the real issue, with the guitars simply following along to embellish it on a higher pitch.

Plus, there’s some sort of keyboard riff (although it might be ingenious guitar work) that really makes the thing dance. “Don’t need a reason to care” the lead singer wails from time to time and, with bass this convincing, he may have all the reason he doesn’t need (to care, that is).

By the by, the lead singer (who’s either Hannibal Heredia or Andy Tegethoff) also brings forth some quite creative musings on the mic device. The background vocals for “Appraisal”—which touch down in the form of ‘woo ooh oohs’ are delectable. They’re unanticipated as well, and let you know not only are these gents having fun, but they’re actually good at having fun, too.

The same can be said of the backgrounds on “Liquid Animal”. Sure, it’s an easy going, mid-tempo masterpiece, with tubed guitars that wind wondrously between the hook and the verses. But the ‘ah yi yi yi yi yis’? Out of this hemisphere. Plus, Kelly Shane’s drumming is especially crisp on this number, which is notable for its dearth of guitars on the verses, which only highlights the lead vocalist’s efforts even more.

“The Top” is likely the most eminent of the tunes on here, for its lack of conventional drums, heavy reliance on keyboard strings, and the ferocious percussion Shane summons. The music sparkles as the counterpoint to the smoke and visions of the lead vocalist’s work. In this respect it’s typical of the project as a whole, and certainly worth another listen—or two.

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