Review Rundown: Stereo Transmitted Disease, Scrap Iron, You Say Party! We Say Die!, Veil Veil Vanish, Venetia Fair

This Review Rundown features reviews of new releases from the likes of Stereo Transmitted Disease, Scrap Iron, You Say Party! We Say Die!, Veil Veil Vanish and the Venetia Fair.

File Under: Next Gen Nu-Rock
Stereo Transmitted Disease – “Generation Nothing” (X-Pressed): An apt description of “Generation Nothing” may be ‘sex soaked nu-rock,’ thanks to a less than subtle band name in Stereo Transmitted Disease, or STD for those slow to the punch, and not-too-shy song titles like ‘Love Junk’ and ‘You Got Fingered.’ It’s so blatant and insistent upon itself, like, say Buckcherry, but it isn’t quick to be pigeonholed. While it does utilize some generic nu-rock tendencies, there is enough on “Generation Nothing” to separate itself from the pack. Songs like ‘A Place Called Home,’ ‘Medicine,’ and ‘She’s Made of Gold’ provide depth to the album, while offering a glimmer of hope that STD isn’t just another scene clone, something that honestly remains to be seen. Only time can tell the fate of these guys. (
Grade: C
Go Download: ‘She’s Made of Gold’

File Under: Midwestern Indie Rock
Scrap Iron – “Oxidation:” From the opening moments of “Oxidation’s” first track ‘Fight the Good Fight,’ it is apparent that this record is going to be an honest and pure journey, one that weaves its way through topics like war and the economy. Scrap Iron is not going to lie to you. Listen, they aren’t going to sugarcoat the seemingly obvious pitfalls of country’s inner workings, rather they are going to expose them through the use of open and paper and better yet, through “Oxidation.” This record is an effort in minimalism – efficient music stripped to its core, showcasing what the combination of only guitar, bass and drums can do, and in this bands case, they can produce quality Midwestern indie. Throughout “Oxidation,” there is a steady pulse and constant harmony, with no underlying motives. The hooks soar, thanks mostly to clean guitars and vocals, and there’s a good change you’ll be singing songs like ‘Not the Time’ and ‘Get Your Nickels Worth’ sooner than later. “Oxidation” is an endearing outing for the Denver based band, and the fact that it isn’t afraid to lay all its cards on the table face up should grab your attention, and hold onto it for some time. (
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘Silent War’

File Under: Rich, Synthy Dance-Pop
You Say Party! We Say Die! – “XXXX” (Paper Bag): The deep bass lines will draw you into the dense, layered sound that’s as indulgent as they’ve come recently, though overall “XXXX” is a mature foot forward for You Say Party! We Say Die! Vocalist Becky Ninkovic calls to mind something of an even-keeled blend of Siouxie & the Banshees aloofness and Pat Benetar’s grit, which remains a main focal point of the record, but by no means the only one. The music more than aptly speaks for itself though ten tracks that will have you thinking of a band like the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s due to its piercing guitars and engrossing nature, but that’s not really a bad thing. With this album, YSP! WSD! has grown, even beyond the confines of their early genre classification. Oh, and FYI – “XXXX” means love for those just joining us. (
Grade: B
Go Download: ‘Dark Days’

File Under: Synth Filled Dark Wave
Veil Veil Vanish – “Change in the Neon Light” (Metropolis): Veil Veil Vanish’s “Change in the Neon Light” evokes a sound similar to that of the Cure circa early 1980’s, somewhere between the brilliant and brooding, funeral ready sullenness of 1981’s “Faith” and the alone in the dark stillness of 1982’s “Pornography,” though Veil Veil Vanish’s output is far less suicidal in nature; but you get the point. The record is often an immersive affair, mostly not allowing the listener to escape its synth-filled dark wave, San Francisco-by-way-of-Sussex Britpop sound, one that both captivates and crashes as a full bodied flourish of sound. Frontman Keven Tecon has chops and a presence comparable to that of the afore mentioned Cure’s vocal genius Robert Smith, and he doesn’t need much time here to prove he can indeed conjure up those types of comparisons (‘Secondhand Daylight,’ ‘This is Violet’), though the layered guitar workings of Cameron Ray and the dense, ethereal key-work of Justin Anastasi do their part in creating the albums stunning musical landscape. “Change in the Neon Light” isn’t overdone or insistent, yet it’s just the right mix of atmospherics and addictiveness to remain gripping from beginning to end. Either VVV is 25 years too late with “Change in the Neon Light,” or they are at the forefront of a sonic revival. (
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘Detachment’

File Under: Terror under the Big Top
The Venetia Fair – ‘the Circus” (Red Blue): Part My Chemical Romance and part Panic At the Disco, the Venetia Fair are all about indulgent sound, textured layers and just the right amount of controlled chaos sprinkled about here and there. Sure, that might sound a bit overly ambitious and perhaps slightly daunting, but the band pulls it all together in larger-than-life fashion on “the Circus.” This record is a literal thrill ride from start to finish, and the Venetia Fair aren’t shy about filling every nook and cranny with some sort of interesting sound, paying special attention to detail while making sure they provide constant entertainment. At times “the Circus” can be intricate, showing that multiple layered feel to their songs, yet at times the record descends into near madness, in a good way. Confused? Good - just listen to the song ‘What Do We Have Here?’ to clear things up a bit. Or not. (
Grade: B
Go Download: ‘What Do We Have Here?’