Vanna
The Few and the Far Between


2.5
average

Review

by Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (71 Reviews)
March 19th, 2013 | 49 replies | 7,357 views


Release Date: 03/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Vanna's fourth album can be summed up in one word: Forgettable.

It is hard to consider Vanna the same band they were a mere 5 years ago. Although bands more often than not go through at least one member change during their tenure, Vanna is a band that has served as a near revolving door of musicians, as in the past five years they have seen their lead vocalist, lead guitarist and drummer depart. The only remaining original members are rhythm guitarist Nick Lambert and bassist Shawn Marquis, hardly the backbone of any musical venture. Regardless of the misfortune that has befallen this post-hardcore band out of Boston, Vanna has persevered throughout their entire 9 year career, steadily releasing album after album. Sadly though, The Few And Far Between is without a doubt a blemish upon an already spotty career.

The Few and the Far Between is a rather short listen; the first two tracks are less than two minutes in length and not a single track is longer than three and half. Vanna, in an apparent attempt to emulate bands such as Norma Jean or Botch, attempt to create ‘chaotic’ music, an attempt that falls flat on its face. Despite their short length, songs are repetitive and bland, often repeating a riff multiple times. “The Lost Art of Staying Alive” is a testament to this; the riff is subtly introduced in “The Few and the Far Between” before continuing into the intro of The Lost Art Of Staying Alive, well overstaying its welcome.

The first two tracks serve to be a rather reliable litmus test; if one can stomach the vocals of Davey Muise in the first two tracks, then this album will more than likely be an enjoyable listen, as they are, for better or for worse, the focal point of this record. Immediately following the two ‘intro’ tracks is lead single “Year of the Rat”. Year of the Rat offers the first glimpse of clean vocals, along with a glimpse into the lyrical content of The Few and the Far Between. The painfully uninspired line “You have to breathe to be alive” is repeated before an ill-advised breakdown introduced with a grunt. Thankfully breakdowns are not implemented as often as one would assume, but when they are we see Vanna at their worst. The breakdowns that are present are often preceded by ‘tough-guy’ lyrics or an indecipherable guttural sound while consisting of mindless chugging.

The album progresses in much the same way, with songs often times struggling to find the perfect balance between chaos and melody, a target often missed. Vanna is at their best when they slow down, most evident in the chorus of “I Said I’m Fine” and the entire premise of the closing track “His Heels”. Sadly, Vanna opt to, instead of fleshing out their slower aspects, focus primarily on chaos. The instrumentation is identical to other bands within the scene and does nothing to stand out. Guitars play simplistic leads or breakdowns, the bass is nearly always inaudible and the drums seem to merely embellish the guitar parts.

In no way distinctive from the myriad of mundane releases in its genre, The Few and the Far Between is an album that will inevitably be forgotten soon after first listen. Nearly every track seems similar in some way to its predecessor, seamlessly blending eleven tracks into one. While it is no way a terrible release, Vanna have created an album we have all heard before. Highlights are sprinkled in periodically throughout, be it the soothing female vocals found on “Please Stay” or the rare instance when Vanna decides to ‘slow it down’, but the good far outweighs the bad, clichés far outnumber original thought, leading to an ultimately dull and tepid release.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



19437 Comments


Damn I almost reviewed this lol glad I didn't

Digging: Musk Ox - Woodfall

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Originally posted at thealtreview.net

I haven't reviewed anything in a while so i thought i'd post this here too. This comes out tomorrow. Anyway, you should all help me out with mistakes as i'm sure there are a few.

I used to dig this guys in middle school lol

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Lol way to beat me to comment. But what did you think of this? probably around a 2.5 i'm assuming?

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



19437 Comments


Only song Ive heard was year of the rat actually lol but I was thinking about reviewing this or Lydia's new album. Ill read later and look for mistakes if u want I'm in the middle of a movie

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol i was honestly going to review the new lydia realease too! i'm not kidding. You can have it if you'd like. i haven't heard it yet lol.

But it's alright. Enjoy your movie

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I thought you'd be busy with the new senses fail

joshuahuntkc
March 18th 2013



1577 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm not a fan of this band, but I saw them live with Every Time I Die and The Acacia Strain last month and they put on a hell of a show. Lots of energy and the songs were really intense and chaotic live. I feel like this bands problem is that they can't capture the feeling they radiate live on an album. They really just need a good producer and I think they could do somthing.
On a side note, is it at least worth listening too?

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



19437 Comments


Lol well I'm gonna be focusing on more new releases too from now on. I had just browsed the new releases and those were the 2 albums that stood out to me. I don't care if u review Lydia too I might not even review it I have to listen to it first lol. Anyways good review as always pos

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If you're looking for mindless jams then yeah it's worth a listen. There's not a lot of substance to found. I had a chance to see these guys live, but their flyers were so stupid i skipped it

joshuahuntkc
March 18th 2013



1577 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haha I understand wha you mean. I saw them a few years back when they had more clean vocals and it was god awful live. I went to that show that month planning on being bored duing their set but they really killed it.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@atari i might review it. I have midterms this week so i might have to wait until spring break next week lol

@joshuahuntkc well if you liked them live you might enjoy this.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Agreed.

joshuahuntkc
March 18th 2013



1577 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ight pos'd

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thanks man

Inveigh
March 18th 2013



24793 Comments


played a show with this band in like 2007, not necessarily my finest moment. they performed pretty well though.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well i mean they're fairly famous, i'd play with them in an instant.

Inveigh
March 18th 2013



24793 Comments


well yea i guess, they were a lot less famous 6-7 years ago though. plus their crowd wasn't the type that would necessarily dig the stuff I was playing.

sixdegrees
March 18th 2013



16777 Comments


Vanna can be summed up in one word: Forgettable.

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Bands that shit on local supporting acts are ridiculous

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Unless they have a good reason lol



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