The Vamato - The Shocking Disaster of the Vanishing Sea
Record Label: Independent
Release Date: June 22, 2010
The first and only time I saw the Vamato was by complete accident. The guitarist in my band invited me with him last minute to see some good friends of ours in the band prettyoungraves play a show that night not too far from my house. After his girlfriend wanted to stop at KFC and calling for directions for about ten minutes, we managed to get to the venue well after PYG had finished playing. But the night was not a total loss, as the very small venue was full, so I didn't have to spend any money on not seeing a show, but also got to catch the last few songs of a band I would later find out to be the Vamato. And I liked those guys. Luckily they passed out stickers, because I definitely would have forgotten their name soon after the show. But now its drilled into my memory.
Months later I was able to hear their first EP, The Shocking Disaster of the Vanishing Sea, which is a very solid debut from this young band. The Vamato have a unique style, combining elements of many genres to create an original sounding rock band. My attention was immediately grasped by their emphatic vocalist, who was both soulful, but kept up the pace with the band's high energy. In parts he reminds me of Matt Geise of Lower Definition, only with a touch of Keith Buckley's vocal style in the Damned Things. That might not make sense, but I suggest you just listen to him, he's got talent, and really ties the whole EP together. My only problem with him would be that his lyrics are often difficult to understand, but my favorite vocalists are usually the hardest to understand. Maybe its just me.
What I liked immediately about this band when I saw them was the skillful musicianship. The drummer is a beast, creating a high-energy for each song, and showing off through their many tempo changes (this guy knows how to use a snare). My favorite song is "Speaking Spanish", mostly because of the drumming at the beginning. Their sole guitarist writes some interesting parts, making the Vamato sound like anything but cliche rock band, and then manages to have some pretty sweet solos. But what I like most about these recordings is the bass player, as he is actually clearly audible. As a bass player, I love it when I can hear the very defined bass parts in every song, especially when the bass player is actually talented, sometimes standing out more than the guitarist.
Though it is only five songs, the EP gives the listener of good taste of what to expect from this young band out of Indiana. Expect a lot of smooth riffs, smooth bass lines, smooth vocals, smooth snare work, and really some smooth songs. These guys are young, and this shouldn't be the last we hear from them. Hopefully their next release will be a little longer.