Sam Bass – Guitar/Vocals, Joe Middleton – Guitar
Tommy Cotton – Keys/Synth, Robbie George – Drums
Liam Westnidge – Bass
See if I’m 100% honest I came across Violet before I received their press release. I found them on Redbull Bedroom Jam and I got 40 seconds into the song and decided ‘fuck these guys, its ‘screamo’ by numbers nothing for me here.’ But then I went and re-visted the band’s video for the song in question ,’Perspectives’, and considered the press release and found myself changing my mind. It wasn’t a complete u-turn though. I’d hardly call Violet ground breaking, but I would certainly call them really fucking good.
Probably the most obvious thing about the band, and probably the one thing that cemented that guy reaction of mine, is the twin vocalist approach. More to the point the split of a screaming vocalist and a singing vocalist. Sure, often when bands go for this split its to make themselves as accessable to the ‘girls’, simply a knuckle headed assumption that girls ‘couldn’t’ like aggressive vocals, as the aggressive vocals make them to the ‘bros’ and ‘doods’, as if men can only really accept screamed vocals (though a lot of us have brought that on ourselves) but Violet don’t seem to be going for that. You get the impression they’re just as into great singing as they are into their tortured and cathartic bellows. In fact, the aggressive vocals on this EP I love because they’ve a certain edge to them that makes them stand apart from every other screaming vocalist. These have more of a resemblance to those artist who began to scream in order to express how they felt as opposed to screaming for the sake of aesthetic and gnarly dance moves. As for the clean vocals, those are pure quality and ring of a soul and R&B influence that gives the band’s sense of melody a bit more depth than your average alternative band with the sing/scream thing does.
Musically the band don’t stray too far from what my first instincts told me but they pull off their compositions with a real sense of class. The arrangements are engaging and they pack enough of muscle to get the pit dancing whilst never becoming overtly ‘heavy’ in the traditional sense. There’s next to no chugging or tribal builds, it’s all about a more mature sense of atmosphere. A sense certainly enhanced by their subtle blend of electronics. Thankfully they’ve resisted the urge to go all rave, or worse dub step, on our asses to attempt cross over appeal. Not there is anything wrong with those types of music, but the trend of bands forcing aggressive sub bass and chrippy synths into their guitar based music has grown stale quick and the girls still don’t want to dance,so please stop. That the band focus more or being tight and creating moments of ebb and flow in their music is much to their credit.
Please stop though isn’t a phrase I’m likely to apply to violet anytime soon. Like I say it’s not ground breaking but it is damn fucking good. if your taste is varied across the vast ranges of alternative music then Violet’s combination of all those things you love is certainly something you’ll appreciate, at the very least in passing.
‘The Brightside’ is available now via Small Town Records in limited physical format and from all the usual digital retailers.
Click here to ‘like’ the band on Facebook and go below to check out their latest single, and title track, from the EP.