Violens - The Lexington - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Violens - The Lexington

by Alexandra Pett Rating: Release Date:

Taking to the stage on a rainy Wednesday night at the Lexington in Kings Cross are Violens, a bunch of New Yorkers pitched as a psychedelic version of The Shins. Before they even utter a note, I am impressed by the enormous range of outfits the band is sporting - from a death metal t-shirt to a chunky knit blue woolly jumper and a paisley-esque shirt, there're more looks up on the stage than the front row of an indie fashion week.

They open with 'Acid Reign', attacking the fairly well populated room with driving drums and an uplifting chorus and sounding a lot like indie noise rock outfit Polvo. Next is 'Violent Sensation Descends' which is a bit pedestrian other than the energetically approached drums, but is the track that causes me to notice that Myles Matheny has the strut and swagger of a paisley clad Mick Jagger.

'Are You Still in the Illusion' and 'It Couldn't Be Perceived' seem to blend into one great big indie delight and I'm enjoying the crystal clear vocal and joyful drumming. This band certainly don't lack melody or consistency but by the start of the poppy 'Already Over' with its light drumming and jaunty bass, I'm concerned that Violens aren't being a bit too consistent. Is 90s indie really making a come back?

The brand new 'Be Still' has apparently only been played eight times and definitely needs to become a permanent fixture, as it was one of the highlights of the set. This is followed by the last two tracks that are played out with commendable enthusiasm and that breezy 80s gloss that is one of the distortions that gives the band its 2010 edge. 'Another Strike Restrained' is first up with its relentless sawing guitars and punished drums and then 'Generational Loss,' which initially makes me feel like I'm listening to a candied version of The Smiths. Although when I say this out loud my companion immediately informs me I am drunk.

The performance at The Lexington was certainly energetic and entertaining but I worry that Violens' apparent addiction to the melodies and rhythms of the 90s limits their success to trying to reach those who remember it all first time round. Having said that, what they play is a gear up from the old time indie bands and distorted by influences like 60s pop and that 80s shimmer, which may be all the edge they need to trigger a mid-90s indie revival. I can think of worse things that could happen.

Track Listing:

1. Acid Reign

2. Violent Sensation Descends

3. Are You Still In The Illusion

4. It Couldn't Be Perceived

5. Already Over

6. Be Still

7. Another Strike Restrained

8. Generational Loss

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