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Hard to believe that this edgy Queens, NY trio are barely college-aged chaps, as The Venda’s six-track sojourn reveals a much more sophisticated musical influence pool than many of their contemporaries. While the obvious The Police, The Clash, and The Cure references spring up on “The Pale White Light” and “Strike Again”, ‘60s Mod-era rock a la The Who and The Kinks is very much alive and well in this fold, aptly shown on tracks such as “I Am the Gun”. There’s even an underscore of So Cal punk a la NOFX, Lagwagon, and the like juxtaposed with some ‘70s British glam on “The Dive”, making this disc one of the most unlikely surprises to come from the Queens scene in a long time. The Venda’s astonishingly deep musical versatility, which when appearing in most cases is usually misdirected and ultimately detrimental, has been meticulously fine-tuned here, making this eponymous release a tantalizing listening experience.
- Mike SOS