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The Vladimirs: The Late Hours

The Vladimirs haven't exactly been on my radar lately; after all, they came on the scene several years back, during the dark days of the 90s, (Limp Bizkit, anyone?) and haven't released albums as steadily as they might have. The Late Hours marks the eighth release for The Vladimirs and is a much welcome release. I don't know much about their back catalogue, nor do I know what fans have to say about these guys, but I'm hoping to spend some quality time with their music in the near future. Their collective heart beats squarely in time with bands like The Misfits and Samhain and their minds are steeped in the dark and shadowy realms of classic horror movies. I was struck with the way this album brought back to my mind the sweet sound of punk rock-infused guitar riffs, dramatic vocals, and the approach to sound and speed that makes up what we call punk rock.

The album opens with "Last Song for the Lost," a song that opens with a strong, clean vocal that plays up the recurring line "Here in the End." To me, the image this line invokes is an apocalyptic space in which there is nothing else to do but sing once more to those who are lost, whatever that means. The song has an anthemic quality that ties the best of horror punk with something almost catchy. The album moves quickly through several similar songs like "Zombie Eyed Youth, "Quiet Room," and "City of the Living Dead." For the first two-thirds of The Late Hours, the songs move forward with the same speed and attitude as the rest. Unfortunately, the album begins to slow down , even to bog down, by the end. I was especially disappointed with "Instrumental," a track that doesn't seem to have anywhere to go. I was also dismayed with "The Late Hours," a fifteen minute track that not only doesn't close the album effectively, it also leaves behind the bold excitement of the previous tracks. The challenge of writing good punk songs is to understand how to keep things exciting, different, and slam-worthy. "The Late Hours" concludes on a rather down note, leaving me with an impression of sheer creative exhaustion.

Nevertheless, there is more on this release to love than its conclusion. This is the kind of release that is essential for listeners who long for a time when punk and horror fused to great and glorious effect.

Track Listing:
1. Last Song for the Lost
2. Zombie Eyed Youth
3. Quiet Room
4. City of the Living Dead
5. Blind Love
6. Synthetic Happiness
7. You're Not Who You Think You Are
8. New Flesh
9. Where to Run?
10. Instrumental
11. Missing Time
12. The Late Hours

Added: May 26th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1874
Language: english

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