Music

Vendetta Red: Between the Never and the Now

Adam Williams

Vendetta Red

Between the Never and the Now

Label: Epic
US Release Date: 2003-06-24
UK Release Date: 2003-04-14
Amazon
iTunes

Epic executives should have known better. Back in the Spring of 2003 the label was poised for the brilliant three tiered re-release of the entire AC/DC catalogue. A special gig was scheduled at New York City's Roseland Ballroom that provided fans with a rare opportunity to see the lads from Down Under in something other than a stadium setting. The show also bore special importance as it coincided with the band's induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Recognizing the event as a potential springboard for a newly signed act, Epic's brain trust bestowed the opening slot on Vendetta Red. To say this was poor judgment is an understatement. Concert goers watched in dumbstruck awe as the group distinguished itself as the worst band many had ever seen. Jumping around like hallucinating chimpanzees, Vendetta Red emitted thirty minutes of indecipherable noise, boasting an embarrassing lack of talent in every respect. Obviously the label had too much invested to simply pull the plug on these musical cretins, so the single "Shatterday" was released and an accompanying video hit the airwaves. If Epic's decision to foist Vendetta Red on the masses proves one thing, it is that major label clout and the best intentions do not always translate into quality product.

To say that Between the Never and the Now is bad would be far too simple; this level of musical incompetence has not been witnessed since Keanu Reeves formed Dogstar, and must be broken down and itemized for all to see.

1) The CD is comprised of twelve tracks, each varying in their own degrees of atrociousness. Every song incorporates lyrics that were written to appear cerebral, but instead sound inane. Attempts at pained sensitivity in "There Only Is", "Seconds Away", and "Accident Sex" would make Billy Corgan give up music altogether, while the song "Caught You Like A Cold" elevates the use of idiotic cliché to lofty heights, leaving listeners either laughing or cringing.

2) The lead vocals on each track represent some of the poorest singing in recent memory, reminiscent of the Vines on their worst day. Making matters worse is the inclusion of gratuitous shrieking into half of the songs. Granted, rock has always had a unique mix of screamers hitting the high notes, from Roger Daltrey and Robert Plant to David Coverdale and Kevin DuBrow, but Vendetta Red's cacophonous efforts set a new sub-standard in this department.

3) The dozen tracks represent a band searching endlessly for an identity, and finding none. Punk? Alternative? Grunge revisited? God knows what the goal was with this CD, but Vendetta Red defies reasonable classification.

4) The album's lowlight comes with the inclusion of "Lipstick Tourniquets", a song that is quite simply, unbelievable. Combining an amazing array of vocal, lyrical and instrumental ineptitude with doses of the aforementioned shrieking, this track is the epitome of amateurism, and should be viewed as the Crown Jewel in the "What to Avoid as a Band" instruction manual.

As horrendous as Vendetta Red and its inaugural major label effort are, one would think there might be something positive to say about either of them. Alas, no words can make amends for this sorry example of a band or the CD, and both will hopefully fade away into musical oblivion very soon.

For Epic executives, let us forgive them in this instance. The label deserves a pass as it has more than made up for Vendetta Red with an impressive list of quality acts and recordings over the years.

Nonetheless, Epic could have saved critics a great deal of time if it had borrowed from Spinal Tap and renamed the album Shark Sandwich. Reviews would have then simply read "Shit Sandwich . . ."


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

'We're Not Here to Entertain' Is Not Here to Break the Cycle of Punk's Failures

Even as it irritates me, Kevin Mattson's We're Not Here to Entertain is worth reading because it has so much direct relevance to American punks operating today.

Film

Uncensored 'Native Son' (1951) Is True to Richard Wright's Work

Compared to the two film versions of Native Son in more recent times, the 1951 version more acutely captures the race-driven existential dread at the heart of Richard Wright's masterwork.

Music

3 Pairs of Boots Celebrate Wandering on "Everywhere I Go" (premiere)

3 Pairs of Boots are releasing Long Rider in January 2021. The record demonstrates the pair's unmistakable chemistry and honing of their Americana-driven sound, as evidenced by the single, "Everywhere I Go".

Books

'World War 3 Illustrated #51: The World We Are Fighting For'

World War 3 Illustrated #51 displays an eclectic range of artists united in their call to save democracy from rising fascism.

Music

Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".

Music

PM Picks Playlist 3: WEIRDO, Psychobuildings, Lili Pistorius

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of WEIRDO, Brooklyn chillwavers Psychobuildings, the clever alt-pop of Lili Pistorius, visceral post-punk from Sapphire Blues, Team Solo's ska-pop confection, and dubby beats from Ink Project.

By the Book

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species (excerpt)

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This excerpt of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species explores in text and photos the tiny but powerful earthling, the virus.

Marianne Taylor
Film

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.

Music

Deftones Pull a Late-Career Rabbit Out of a Hat with 'Ohms'

Twenty years removed from Deftones' debut album, the iconic alt-metal outfit gel more than ever and discover their poise on Ohms.

Music

Arcade Fire's Will Butler Personalizes History on 'Generations'

Arcade Fire's Will Butler creates bouncy, infectious rhythms and covers them with socially responsible, cerebral lyrics about American life past and present on Generations.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Thelonious Monk's Recently Unearthed 'Palo Alto' Is a Stellar Posthumous Live Set

With a backstory as exhilarating as the music itself, a Thelonious Monk concert recorded at a California high school in 1968 is a rare treat for jazz fans.

Music

Jonnine's 'Blue Hills' Is an Intimate Collection of Half-Awake Pop Songs

What sets experimental pop's Jonnine apart on Blue Hills is her attention to detail, her poetic lyricism, and the indelibly personal touch her sound bears.

Music

Renegade Connection's Gary Asquith Indulges in Creative Tension

From Renegade Soundwave to Renegade Connection, electronic legend Gary Asquith talks about how he continues to produce infectiously innovative music.

Music

A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.

Books

Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.

Film

'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.