Vaux’s most straightforward tracks remind me a good bit of a more streamlined, melodic version of The Blood Brothers. On tracks like “Dearest Darkest,” it really shows, and they rock out with crunchy layered guitars behind Quentin Smith’s crooning wails, which occasionally peak to fluttering gasps and screams. Comparisons to At the Drive-In are also admissible.
But there’s definitely more here than shades of another band. “Sex Will Happen Tonight” is the album standout, where metal-laden guitar crunch is swapped out for a weird keyboard-driven ethnic ballad of sorts — it’s almost trip-hoppy in approach. It’s very creepy, atmospheric stuff, and it helps to show just how versatile the band is with their sound. Perhaps most amazing, it doesn’t feel at all out of place in the middle of this 5 song EP, and only makes the listener all the more keen on their subtle use of keyboards and melodic breaks from the otherwise frenetic metal found on tracks like “Plague Music.”
Last we heard, Vaux had parted ways with Lava, who was supposed to release their major label debut earlier this month. With that release temporarily in limbo while the band negotiates for the rights to it, who knows when it will see the light of day … In the meantime, go pick up Plague Music if you dig a crooked art-punk twist on the modern metal sound.