Written as high school sophomores, and recorded while juniors, Voices of Vendetta by Kearns Utah-based band, The Reprints, is an exciting first release from a young band, filled with potential. The songs range from youth-energy fueled punk and grunge to psychedelic era Beatles, from ’70s rock to early ’60s ballads, in addition to one particular track that I believe shows what it to come (more on that in just a bit). Despite four decades of influence all being very apparent in the songs, the album is congealed in fun, upbeat listening.
The Reprints center around lead guitar/vocalist Zakk Burdick and bass/guitar/vocalist Cameron Singer. The album Voices Of Vendetta was mostly recorded by Zakk and Cameron, with the help of musician friends, though they have since added Jake Conover on drums, and Scott Sandberg on rhythm guitar. The album features both Burdick and Singer as lead vocalists, and is heavy with back up vocals and harmonies. It also features extremely capable guitar and bass playing, and VERY solid lead guitar playing by Burdick, who clearly knows his way around the fretboard.
Voices of Vendetta starts with the song “Breaking Out”. A great first song. It is high energy, and will certainly appeal to punk fans. Although it is a bit disconnected from the overall tone of most of the album, it is not distracting at all, as it is one of the highlights of the album. The next song, “Relentless” draws much more on ’60s psychedelia, and could fit very well on a Shocking Blue album. Track 3, “Chump of the Week” has a bit of a Steely Dan meets Weezer tone, and is fueled by an excellent sing along chorus outro. Track 4, “Bluebird” goes back to their earlier ’60s influences, and track 5, “Flee”, a dark song with paranoia undertones reminds me of the NES game Castlevania (though I may be dating myself with that reference). Track 6, “Just Tell Me”, is another Beatle-esque ballad featuring strong duo vocals by both Burdick and Singer. Track 8 is another highlight of the album, the title track, “Voices of Vendetta”. Another driving rock song featuring powerful vocals and guitar playing, similar, in places to AFI.
You may have noticed I skipped track 7. I think this song may be the pivotal song on the album. It is called “Wandering”, and has a more “Muse” feel to it. Having heard three or four of The Reprints’ new songs (including an AMAZING song called “Subliminal Messages” on their Myspace page), I believe this is more the direction the band is headed. Just as the Beatles albums Help! and Rubber Soul are clearly the bands transition from ’60s pop to psychedelic rock, “Wandering” seems to be The Reprints transitional song from a high school band writing very good songs, to a more developed and refined band with a clear vision of where they are going musically, and really… of the cusp of doing something pretty amazing; If you want proof, put on some nice headphones and listen to “Subliminal Messages” on their Myspace page for in insight to this new direction, and keep in mind, these guys are still in high school. I for one am excited to hear what they have in store.
Check out The Reprints at http://www.myspace.com/thereprints11