If you were to ask me what I thought of the band Vanna before the year 2017, I wouldn't know what to tell you. I'd honestly only ever heard of the band through my work (or lack thereof) at Just Plain Filthy. My filthy companions would sing the praises (or just sing, in Campbell's case) of this mythical band, that CLEARLY had been around for a while, unbeknownst to me. I'm sure I've heard a song or two since then, but I could never see myself listening to a whole project.
With the news of the upcoming 15 year anniversary of the bands EP, "The Search Party Never Came", I figured that now would be a better time as any to actually sit down, and give Vanna the attention that they deserve. This isn't going to be a full on review, its about a decade and a half too late for that. What this is going to be is more of a first time reaction, and some honest thoughts about an EP that spawned a generation of bands. With that being said, let's talk about it.
Starting off the record is the song "A Dead Language For a Dying Lady", which has the most metalcore instrumental I have ever heard. It sounds the way a Hot Topic in 2006 looks. It is equal parts cringe, and absolutely amazing. Listening to how the vocals sound, with the harsh mixing with the clean, you can tell how this EP inspired dozens of bands in the New England area, and most of my friends bands literally sound like this, its uncanny.
Following that is the song "That Champagne Feeling", which has some of the nastiest vocals on the project. Now, I'm acutely aware that Vanna had around 17 fucking vocalists, so I'm not sure who did the screams on this song. But holy shit, when the vocals go low they go LOW. Like, I'm talking bottomless pit low. Its a solid tune.
At this point in the EP, I was really digging it! It sounded like everything I loved in the genre, and I was really impressed with the production. For a project recorded in 2006 with a relatively new band, it was really solid. Then we got to the song "I Am the Wind, You Are the Feather", and it all went out the window. I don't want to be overly critical (because this came out when I just started high school), but besides the outro gang vocals, the vocals were mixed like ass. It sounds like an extra track on an It Dies Today album, and that's not a bad thing, but it just wasn't for me.
On the flip side, the song "Schadenfreudu" made me want to crowd kill scene kids at Warped Tour, its fucking sick, and its my favorite track.
Moving on to the title track, I immediately didn't like the drum tone. The snares reminded me of the St. Anger snares, and we all know the sound I'm talking about. Other than that, this song is honestly pretty sick. My throat hurt just listening to the vocals, especially when the breakdown hit. The whole song has this really depressing energy that is almost palpable, its really good.
Lastly, the song "She's a Real Battleaxe" starts with a really fun, kind of bouncy groove, which then immediately turns dark when those sickening lows hit. I almost wish this song came before the title track, because as a closing song, to me at least, it doesn't fit. This whole project made me wish I had hair, just so I could straighten it. I really dug it, and I'm definitely gonna check out the rest of the bands work!
Congrats on the 15 year anniversary, Vanna. You guys rock!