Vue – S/T


At times Vue, formerlly known as The Audience, brings back the British rock sound of the 70’s and early 80’s like The Rolling Stones, The Stooges and The Velvet Underground, at times the more grungy rock sound of bands like Mudhoney and Suede. Sometimes they have a more new-agey rock sound like The Birthday Party or David Bowie. These songs are high-power driving rock, fueled with the intensity of bands like The Clash and The Sex Pistols. It wouldn’t be called punk today, but it’s got some of that punk energy and intensity going for it while still managing to sound completely retro. There’s no getting around it. They could be a 70’s hard-rock cover band. But they’re doing it today, with their own sound and today’s energy.
“White Traffic” starts off jamming. The vocals sound like a cross between vocals from The Clash and Suede, just dripping with attitude, so that you can imagine the drummer in tight leather pants, a blousy shirt, with long hair and long fingernails and glitter. Remember when that was cool? I bet you do. I bet, deep inside, you still think that that’s just a little bit cool. Other than the intensity and attitude of the vocals and a cool bass line, this song doesn’t particularly distinguish itself. At times, Vue falls into the “rock star” comfort-zone, where they assume just by playing guitar riffs and loud drums and in-your-face singing, they make good rock. Songs like “Nothing Left But You” and “We Were Here” are good examples of this. Some songs do shine with more originality and attitude to spare. The cool drum beat and moog organ with echoey vocals in “Girl” is damn cool. “Cotton Kisses” has some keyboards underneath sheer rock guitar riffage, a powerful chorus and a fun pop beat. “Her Moods” is a pretty cool, kinda groovey and spacey instrumental with some great bass. “Madame Whore” is very cool, with an almost Depeche Mode or similar slower 80s new-wave rock feel. And sometimes the sheer retro rock feel just sits right with me, like with “Angel’s Alright” and “I’m Everybody’s Funny.”
Vue isn’t for everyone, at least not today. But I personally have nothing against bands that are purposefully retro. The sound was exciting and energy-fueled and fun. And Vue have all of that energy and fun. Their songs rock, no doubt about it, straight forward and intense. The vocals are the key saving grace to music that might otherwise be dull. But sometimes, you just want to let your hair down and rock. There’s nothing wrong with that. Go ahead. Trust me. You’ll feel better.