VR Sex - Rough Dimension
Album Review by Captain Stavros
L.A. based VR Sex (Drab Majesty’s younger sibling) has come a long way since their debut release, Human Traffic, whose rough dimensions fit more in the vein of a rumpled suit from a thrift store, but are the bones of what the new album’s been built on. Noel Scum (Andrew Clinco) borrows the best from the aforementioned projects culminating in an album that resists yielding to either sound entirely but instead doubles down and layers up on walking the line between each with much success.
Rough Dimensions (out March 25 on DAIS), an outlet for harder hitting thoughts and sounds, resonates catharsis to the tune of a rage room, comparatively speaking of course. The primate scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey, bashing bone against flesh in front of a monolith, comes to mind. Turning the volume down on that spectacle and blasting ‘Victim or Vixen’ and ‘Snake Water’ back-to-back arguably links up better than the Wizard of Oz and Pink Floyd do.
Both boast production values, lyrics and sounds of monolithic proportions heard throughout the album. ‘Victim or Vixen’ has a sense of subversion, it’s unapologetic and it's got edge. Initially, listening to both tracks you might think VR Sex have hitched their wagon to Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’, borrowing that wavy, sounding drunk and completely fucked up, way of playing guitar that was Kurt’s signature sound. We’d argue that it’s a nod rather than a lift. Nearing the end of the album ‘Snake Water’, although holding onto that guitar tip, also leans into the synth, simultaneously tapping on my frontal lobe all-to-rhythmically like a nervous foot against a table leg.
What surprised us the most wasn’t the heft of the sound but how accessible the lyrics were amongst the cacophony. In contemporary times where most overheard commentary is an echo-chamber of derivatives, it’s refreshing to have a bit of the ole unvarnished rough. That’s always been punk’s mainstay but coupled with hard hitting deathrock elements sewn in cradle to grave, it’s a recipe that’s one part water to equal parts cement.
This album suffers both a gift and a curse in that it won’t reach a wider audience, though not for its lack of appeal. ‘Savvy Music Supervisor’ will undoubtedly appropriate a cut or two for a darker feature, but little Maggie won’t stand on Uncle Filbert’s feet to dance to ‘Glutton of Love’ at the wedding reception any time soon. This track sounds like it came from what an evolution of Motley Crue might’ve metastasized into in an alternate dimension given the chance.
Of the nine-track album, eight really, since calling ‘Cyber Crimes’ rolling in at 34 seconds should be an actual crime, five tracks blister. This is, of course, a remarkable achievement considering the album took two weeks to put together (minus post). Although VR Sex start their North American tour later this month rocking the Casbah in San Diego, we’re not seeing anything for the rest of the planet. For now, it appears, we’ll be ‘Living in Dream’ waiting for them to skip across the pond, so keep an eye out or you might miss it if you blink.