First off, I automatically confused these kids with that washed up ’80s band Ultravox before I realized seconds later that the classical grunge sounds on the earlier’s latest opus would increase the disparity even more between the two, ultimately so wide, it would be easier to distinguish one teen-pop whine over the other. Instruments become re-animated faster than you can say buried, but the soothing, sordid voice of Kim Pendleton rests for brief spurts as it attempts to coalesce with the rest of the distorted pain. “Love Letters” walks the thin line between ridiculed, angst-ridden, cherub musings and angry, punk-fed nihilism, but there is a certain volatility in all of it. Perhaps the most inspired move on this self-titled record is distancing from past, cluttered emotions and ultimately finding solace in the Mazzy Star-ish “Win.” Listening to it, I feel like watching through plate-glass windows a dysfunctional family attempting a semblance at proper unity. Told through emotional anecdotes and moodswinging rock music, Vibrolux wallows in depression, though there are several chances for redemption throughout.
Last Beat Records, 2819 Commerce St., Dallas, TX 75226; http://www.lastbeatrecords.com