Back in 2000, there was a really fun and cool tribute album released to celebrate the life of late Snot singer James Lynn Strait. The album entitled Strait Up, featured a plethora of guest singers and friends of the band like Jonathan Davis of Korn, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Serj Tankian of System Of A Down, among others. There was one song in particular on the album that got a lot of attention and acclaim and that song was “Angel’s Son.” This song was a wonderful tribute to their fallen friend. There was a newer version of the song recorded for Sevendust’s album Animosity but, the version that appears on Strait Up is the best one! The music video that accompanied the song was quite beautiful too. It’s an emotional video and gives you chills but, it’s also one of those that along with the song, makes for one hell of a great video.
When I first heard about Vanishing Life, I already knew, without hearing a song, that this band was going to be something I’m going to enjoy. Having one of my all time favorite drummers in Jaime Miller from Snot behind the kit and Walter Schreifels of Quicksand singing, this was sure to be something special. Joining them on guitar and bass, are Zach Blair of Rise Against and Autry Fulbright of And You Will Know us by the Trail of Dead. The first 7″ they put out was two songs of pure energy and unrelenting aggression. Now on their first full length album Surveillance, Vanishing Life has put together a record that harks back to the days when music had something very important to say.
From the urgency of the first song “Realist,” you can tell that you are in for quite a ride. “Outlier,” has a really cool melodic tinge to it without losing the “vibe” of what the band is. “Painter” is the type of song you’d expect from Walter, which has a sort of Rival Schools feel to it. “Pretty Ruined” has a post-hardcore vibe. “Exile” is a great punk rock track. “Image” is a pretty poignant song lyrically. “Vanishing Life” is full of the energy you’d want from a band in this style. “Thinking Weightless” is a really cool song that has great dynamics. “People Running” was featured on their first 7″ and the first song I heard from Vanishing Life, and this song is raw and full of punk ferociousness. Closing song “Big Other” has an epic vibe to it. I could almost see this as a pre-cursor to what the band might evolve into.
There is something beautiful about the simplicity of these songs. These guys are all great musicians and can play the hell out of their instruments, but they understand the need to play according to the song. Everyone in Vanishing Life lives in different areas but, I really hope that doesn’t cause this to be a one off project. This debut album really shows promise of what the four of them can do together and I’d love to hear more.
We’ve all heard bands that were so good, but it seemed they were ahead of the time. In 2000, long before bands got fully into the 80’s culture of glam and new wave again, The Start was THE band. The only problem is not many people knew who they were. All the bands that came out after them in their genre, were all bland, rehashed, and boring. The Start brought a new vibe to the 80’s new wave style, writing songs that were eye opening and full of emotion. You might know or not that the band was formed of the ashes of Human Waste Project and Snot. Aimee Echo’s voice is one of “the” most original I’ve ever heard and he lyrics were top notch. Musically, the band delivered a sound that mixed new wave, with punk and hard rock. Their debut album Shakedown is wonderful from start to finish. I’ll even put it out there that it’s one of the best debut albums I’ve ever heard. Their other albums are stellar and different, showing that the band can evolve. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing The Start a bunch of times. Let me just tell you that, you missed out on one of the coolest, best live bands ever. So if you did miss out, now is your chance to begin!!
The term “Supergroup” is so over used these days, but in this case it really is quite spectacular. I present to you Vanishing Life. This band is made of of Walter Schreifels of Quicksand/Rival Schools, Rise Against guitarist Zach Blair, bassist Autry Fulbright of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, and drummer Jaime Miller also of Trail Of Dead but also Snot, and The Start. So far they have only released a 7″ with two songs, but those songs are badass. This band has the right amount of raw energy that made all their other bands who they were but the combination of all these guys together makes something that is exploding with melody and breathes in new life to rock music that is desperately needed. The band has already played this past years SXSW festival. Hopefully they have a full length out soon, because this band is awesome!