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The Vics – Making smart Alternative Rock

TMaking smart alternative rock in an age where the term doesn’t hold half as much weight as it used to is no easy feat for a modern band to accomplish, but in the case of Pennsylvania’s The Vics, the task seems all to simple. In The Vics’ new singles “Fourth and Clay” and “Proud,” audiences get to experience truly unfiltered, unvarnished alternative beats that are stylishly removed from the mainstream thanks to their sublimely postmodern textures. Both songs sport more efficient sonic explosions than anything that I’ve had the pleasure of absorbing in some time, both in a personal and professional capacity, but their mighty vitality is only one of many reasons to give them a chance this month.

There’s a lot of intricacies to be studied in “Fourth and Clay” that are symbolic of The Vics’ illustrious hybridity and ability to think outside of the box in every aspect of their music. The grittiness of the strings is balanced out by a charming percussive track that helps to clear some space for the delicious vocals, which on their own could make or break a song that is as surreally-designed as this one is. It’s frustratingly tense before we get into the chorus, but the buildup to the fever pitch is anything but overwhelming.

Lyrically, both of these songs are really cutting and personal from the get-go, but I think that it’s important to note the non-insular nature of their narratives. So many artists think that they’ve got to choose whether to be intimate or relatable when writing pop music that they often cheapen their own aesthetic in trying to please everyone from critics to fans to A&R reps, but that’s not an issue for The Vics. They’ve found that perfect middle ground between two styles of prose in these tracks, and for the most part, in all of the music that they’ve shared with us to date.

“Proud” is a bit more emotional in its verses, as well as in the way that its music seems to bind around them, than I was expecting it to be. Here, the vocal seems a tad more tortured, achy and in need of our attention, whereas in “Fourth and Clay,” the instruments are telling us just as much of a story as the lyrics themselves are. There are so many layers to peel back in this song, so many colors to be separated from one another, and yet we never become overwhelmed by the grandiosity of the music – another rare attribute that The Vics boast in their collective skillset.

You really can’t go wrong with this stellar pair of singles among all of the exciting new rock music that’s out this season, and despite the fact that 2019 is still young and full of restless talent, I have a gut feeling that this is going to be the year of The Vics. They’ve been positioned to break into the mainstream for a hot minute now, and a couple tracks of this highbrow variety could really go a long way in extending their viable reach out of their small, regional scene and onto the national stage. They’re more than worthy of all the attention, and I can’t wait to hear what they do with this opulent sound next.

John McCall

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