by Zac Lomas, edited by Erik van Rheenen
There is an old business adage that states if you do not evolve, then you die. This statement applies not only to prehistoric animals and start-up companies, but also to bands, and Boston Massachusetts’ quintet Vanna are no exception. After seven years, five studio LPs, three lead vocalists, and multiple shifts in sound, Vanna may as well be evolution incarnate. Latest album VOID is no exception to the rule, as the band’s Pure Noise Records debut once again marks a stylistic change, similar to 2013’s The Few and the Far Between.
While The Few and the Between found vocalist Davey Muise tapping into the more guttural portion of his vocal range, VOID sees the front-man tapping into more high pitched squeals that still manage to embody the ferocity necessary such powerful lyrics. This vocal shift is noticeable, but any change in intensity is not, and the album opens with the title track “VOID’s” delectably destructive nature. Muise’s screams of “watch this black hole consume you” and “stare into the great unknown” imply an existential crisis that resonates throughout the entire album’s eleven tracks.
"VOID" immediately crashes into "Toxic Pretender" and while front-man Muise’s love of all things Americana is well-documented, nowhere is it more apparent than in this track’s opening lines of "Mine eyes have seen no glory so I rip them out today, ‘cause when was the last time I looked at you without looking away?" Muise uses this inversion of the classic Civil War era fight song as a direct assault on someone whose personality is both fraudulent and noxious. The vitriol Muise channels is perfectly complemented by guitarist Joel Pastuszak’s haunting clean vocals, whose subtlety undercuts the chaotic nature of the track.