The Vegas Report – Vignettes

Band: The Vegas Report
Album: Vignettes
Genre:  Rock/Post Rock
Label: Driven Records

Tracks:
1. First Snow
2. Ears To The Machine
3. Sunrise
4. Eye Contacts
5. Red Solo Cups
6. Were They Not Patriots

Have you ever been to see a movie and afterwards thought something to the extent of, “Man! That movie would have been so much better if they had only done (this) instead of (that),”? That’s sort of how I felt when I was listening to Vignettes, by The Vegas Report. This album had its redeeming qualities, but there were also some things about it that simply were not done right.

Full of slow and somber indie rock, Vignettes sets a very calm and relaxed mood. Almost all of the songs have a way of slowly building up to a crescendo, rising and falling in a very fluent motion. The music is very warm and full sounding, and the vocals fit well into the mix (most of the time). Capturing this sort of rich sound with only a three piece band seems like a daunting task, but The Vegas Report manages to do an okay job with it.

Here comes the aforementioned “if they had only done (this),” qualm. There are a couple things that are getting in the way of Vignettes living up to its full potential. The first being: the awful clean tone used frequently throughout the album. Guitarist and vocalist, Josh Schanck often uses an overly contoured and bass-filled tone that comes out sounding clunky and uncharacteristic of their genre. It was definitely a big musical turn-off. What he’s playing is fine, but it would sound vastly better with a good, or even decent, clean tone. My second issue was with Schanck’s vocals. He tried to slide in and out of notes using a great deal of sustain, but he doesn’t always hit or sustain the notes very gracefully. To some people, the raw aspect of his vocals may be appealing, but I’m just not won over by them. Also, the production value on the album was not necessarily high.

The Vegas Report has done a decent job with Vignettes, but it’s not something you’re going to pore over and become indulged in. There is a good vibe to be found here and the band has managed to create something unique, but there is just too much holding them back. I realize that this review seems to be a confusing medium between optimism and pessimism, but that is only because the album itself walked a fine line at times between being good, and just being mediocre. Sadly, it’s the later.

*Written By: Kyle Viana*
Grade: 6.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Winston Churchill

    I could not disagree more. You’ve made it quite apparent through this review that you are not a musician. The guitars are not all “over-contoured.” You don’t make a very good case about the guitars when it’s a Gibson SG playing through a Vox.

    You think this EP is mediocre? Name a band they sound like. And there is “too much holding them back”? You cited the guitars (which you have no idea what you’re talking about) and the vocals (apparently you like over-cultivated and extremely produced vocals) as the only things you don’t like. How about how locked in the drums and bass are throughout the EP as if they’re a single unit? How about how amazing the drums are? How about how original the sound is and how it plays to the best of post-rock while not succumbing to cliches and formulas? You say nothing of this, showing how inexperienced you are in the field. Maybe Nickelback or Fall Out Boy would suit you better.

    To anybody reading this, this EP is phenomenal. For a first release, it shows unique experience and musicianship. Look it up on Amazon MP3 downloads for only $5.34. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Winston Churchill

    Oh yeah, and your band’s music is so much better. Get out of your cookie-cutter pop screamo mindset. You might know good music when you hear it if you do that. This review shows how young your ears are.

  • God

    I the creator of the universe, and the Vegas Report’s debut EP is my favorite rookie effort of all time.