The Deep Vibration
In today’s convoluted rock scene, it seems that either artists attempt a throwback sound influenced by the classics (Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan) or they dive into the uncharted waters of music that will turn into the genres of tomorrow (Animal Collective.) In both cases, not many can pull it off (Black Lips) and even fewer can pull it off well (Black Keys.) The Deep Vibration is no exception to that rule; they’re a bluesy four-piece rock band searching for that elusive throwback sound. That said, it’s obvious that these guys are influenced by the classics. However, the sound seems to fall right into their lap and they achieve it without coming across as trying to hard or simply imitating (Panic At The Disco.)
The quavering vocals offered by lead singer, Matt Campbell, are sung through a Shure SM-57 microphone and they parallel a toddler learning to walk; strong and confident one minute while beat down and broken the next. The SM-57 is typically used to mic drums and makes for an odd choice as a vocal mic. That could explain the shudder that’s ever present in his vocals. More often than not, Campbell sings in a voice still struggling for balance. He sounds best in parts the first track, “Oklahoma City Woman Blues,” where he sings without hesitation. The second track, “Third Day of July” slows the strut established by the first song and feels like it’s a little too soon. Unfortunately, the slower pace defines the rest of the EP. “Thanks To You” attempts to revive the stride that “Third Day of July” killed. And, while they don’t completely regain their swagger, the addition of a horn section sets it apart from the rest making it one of my favorites. Alternatively, on “Tennessee Rose,” the longest and slowest track on the record, his voice comes across soft and thankfully without the quaver. For this one, the guys unleash a harmonica that introduces some odd vocal harmonies provided by country singer Gillian Welch. I’m not quite sure they fit together but on an LP, I’m sure they’ll tighten them up.