26 September 2023

Tomhet EP

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Red Vienna, Locust Hail, 2020.

Red Vienna is a Vancouver-based band that has caught my imagination.

They’ve been around since 2010 and have released one album, The Book Of Hours (2015) and two Eps, the self-titled Red Vienna in 2010 and this latest two-track EP, Tomhet, plus a couple of singles.

The band is comprised of bassist/vocalist, Jahmeel Russell (Actors), drummer, Robbie Zgaljic (Sparkmarker/Black Halos) and guitarist, Devin Boquist.

This three-piece outfit produce an intoxicating blend of brit-pop and post-punk inspired indie rock that is built around heavy and yet melodic basslines combined with driving drum rhythms overlayed with sparkling and often chiming guitars.

Jahmeel Russell’s vocals are gentle and create a melancholic mood.

Red Vienna produce a big sound for a three-piece band and yet the mix contains a remarkable amount of space.

The whole package presents a haunting and ghostly atmosphere that has left me wanting more.

I listened to the band’s self-titled debut release to get a better feel for what they are doing and I’ve noticed a gradual development in their music from heavily Brit-pop influenced tracks, full of energy and noise, through to deeper, sparser and nuanced sounds.

The two tracks on Tomhet (the Norwegian word for ‘emptiness’) are quite cinematic in their construction and the film clips the band produce exhibit this aspect.

This emptiness is the overwhelming sentiment of the EP.

Credit must go to producer, Jason Corbett who has done an excellent job of capturing the external and internal wilderness that is so pervasive.

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