Blinded from ‘Another Light’

Sean Dunn, Staff Writer

Believe it or not, the brain can get itchy. It’s true! Sometimes it gets an itch to do something involving creativity, something involving intelligence, something involving… caffeine. More often than not, my brain gets itchy for music.

The right music at the right time can really hit that scratch-and-sniff dopamine sticker that’s hidden somewhere in your head. But, if you’re picky about your music choice (like myself), then that desire goes unfulfilled. Some songs scratch too hard, others not hard enough. Never just right. Truly, a shame and a crime.

In the last parts of 2014, a new band out of Staten Island, New York, silently formed and began to spin the wheels of creativity. This band has been the first in years to help find my own personal sticker, and, boy, did I scratch.

Vincent Lange, better known by his online alias “Vinesauce,” and his close friend, Mike, formed the band Red Vox.

Vinny, as he is commonly referred to by his online community and friends, was interested in music from early on in his life. He learned to play guitar during his teen years, being infatuated with psychedelic and grunge rock. His singing style takes after Pink Floyd lead singer David Gilmour and the hapless Kurt Cobain.

The band’s name, Red Vox, had apparently came to Vinny in a dream. He explained that “red is a color that means strength, power.” The word “vox” is Latin for “voice.” Thus, you have a band that proclaims its strength in its name, and it does not lie.

So, Red Vox has been around for about three years. In those three years, Red Vox have managed to capture both the mind and the spirit of the bands that has influenced its style, such as Pink Floyd, Radiohead, The Pixies and Tame Impala. Also within those three years, Red Vox has released two albums and on EP.

Their debut album, “What Could Go Wrong?,” was released on March 29, 2016. Its list of a modest 13 songs proved enough to show that the band has talent, and lots of it. During the 44 minutes of listening, you’ll start off with the playful “There She Goes,” maybe become pensive and reflective with “Hazy,” and finally find yourself daydreaming near the end, listening to “In A Dream.”

Their EP, Blood Bagel, was released shortly after their first album, and is best for those who enjoy both a hard tune and raunchy joke. The five songs in this small collection shed some light on some… touchy material. Personal suggestion: please don’t listen to it around those who are easily disturbed by clowns. Really.

Now, we move on to their newest album. On Dec. 14, 2017, “Another Light” got the spotlight, and the committed Red Vox band community turned their eyes to center stage.

As with any sort of new music, I became skeptical as to whether Red Vox could live up to their old album. Many times, I have been disappointed by a beloved band’s new album. I was unimpressed with “The Killers’” 2017 album “Wonderful Wonderful”, somewhat disappointed by “Breaking Benjamin’s” 2015 album “Dark Before Dawn,” and have yet to find any songs by “Killswitch Engage” that rank as high as the songs that former lead vocalist Howard Jones performed in.

“Another Light,” however, proved to be a shine out amongst the rest.

When it comes to music, you can’t really say that some songs are better than others, per se. The infinite shades of gray that are subjective don’t allow much wiggle room for those who see music as objective pieces (though, people on the internet will still tell you that your music taste is sh*tty).

That being said, I felt that Red Vox had only improved with “Another Light.”

The guitar rhythms feel “old-friend” familiar, not “I’ve heard this already” familiar. The synths are ridiculously well-placed. The bass lays down the foundation for the songs very comfortably, and the drums do a hell of a job controlling the beat.

Every song within the album feels unique and carry their own message despite the fact that two of them, “I’m So Happy” and “I’m So Sad,” are purposefully meant to be paired together, as indicated by the dichotomy in the names. The intro of the second song, “Settle For Less,” comes from the last chords of the aptly named first song, “Another Light.”

I’ll say it right here: Vinny is a great songwriter. The lyrical content of “Another Light” is a lot more surreal and varied in concept without being to vague or too specific. Really, it feels that Vinny expanded more of the conceptual horizon rather than trying to build on old concepts. The teaser song for “Another Light,” “From the Stars,” felt so open and original, though it doesn’t step on the toes of “What Could Go Wrong.”

I could tell you more about this band, but I believe that this album is something that really needs to be experienced and listened to in order to fully appreciate it. I would recommend listening to “What Could Go Wrong” first, of course, just to get the comparative effect between it and “Another Light.” You can find them on Spotify and YouTube for all of their music.

The elusive dopamine sticker in our heads can be found. You just gotta look hard enough. If it’s been in some deep recess caused by too much Netflix or homework, maybe you should consider looking for it from “Another Light.”