Savor the flavor, because this sure as hell isn’t going to happen very often on this blog. Get yourself a fresh pair of underwear, because we are in fact reviewing a ROCK album. Our good friend Nick Landers from Inherent Vice came to us and asked us for a review. He’s been a longtime supporter of The Metal and the entire local music scene in general, so we weren’t going to say no.
The first thing I have to say about Inherent Vice’s debut EP Peaks and Valleys (recorded by Doug White at Watchmen Studios) is that you can’t go into it expecting “just another rock outfit”. In only 5 songs, you’ll hear so many different influences (that blend together perfectly), you’ll need to reexamine your ’90s and early 2000s collections of rap infused rock, grunge, indie rock and classic radio friendly hard rock.
Vocally, Adam Foster delivers a singing range that sits perfectly in between that of Billy Corgan, Layne Staley and Scott Stapp (that’s the majority of the album). However, on tracks like “Replica of a Replica”, Foster’s rap/rock influence comes out. Think of Rage Against the Machine, P.O.D. and Primer 55. If that doesn’t scream throwback, I don’t know what does. He also does a little bit of screaming (very sparse). If I had to compare his harsh vocals to anyone’s, I’d have to say it’s a lower pitched, slightly strained version of what Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) does. If there’s to be more screaming on future releases, I think Adam should practice it with more regularity to get his range and consistency on point with the rest of his vocal spectrum (which is stellar). All in all, he’s a very versatile and impressive vocalist.
In the first two songs, “Atmosphere” and “End Of Me”, Jason Gardner SHINES on bass. I hear a little Red Hot Chili Peppers influence, but it’s not all “Flea flash”. More or less, I think there was just a decision made by the group to hold back a bit and let the bass ride strong and do its thing. Together, Gardner and drummer, Josh Puit make a dynamite rhythm section that will keep any fan of this style of music happy. Puit’s tom work in the beginning of “End Of Me” is particularly impressive and has a certain Danny Carey (Tool) vibe to it.
Nick Landers brings a signature guitar sound to this record that speaks volumes for what the band will be releasing in the future. It’s in the guitar, where you can truly hear the variety of this band’s influences come out in full force. Landers’s strong low chord progressions, octave chord driven flash, cool clean parts and classic radio rock chopped sections give Inherent Vice their truly unique sound, in a world of rock otherwise driven by the next “cookie cutter” project.
Want a taste of Peaks and Valleys? I’ll give you my top track “End Of Me” below. After you check that out, follow the link to their Bandcamp and pick up the EP. Fans of most ’90s rock will not be disappointed.
Thanks for indulging us in our first rock review, guys! I’m not trying to make assumptions here, but I’m pretty sure our next rock review will be for Ronnie LePine’s (Govt.) solo project, The Man, The Machine. We’ll keep you posted, as I’m sure he will. Thanks again, guys. Be safe!