V/H/S – Gift of Life

Artist: a2652127520_10V/H/S
Album: Gift of Life 
Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
Released: June 17, 2016

The northwest strikes again with this one, and it’s been in my to mention for a few months now. Seattle has been known for its pop punk and feminist themed bands, but V/H/S (Violent Human System) takes things to a darker, less travelled path. While it’s soaked in chorus guitars and heavy 80s goth influence, it still has that punk tinge that keeps things upbeat and interesting.

My take on this was that it has tons of Christian Death influence, and if you haven’t heard Christian Death’s classic Only Theatre in Pain you definitely need to do your homework. It was pre-goth, back when the scene was referred to as “deathrock,” and they shared stages with bands like 45 Grave, T.S.O.L, the Flesh Eaters, and the like.

Let me be very clear, this album flows so well. It’s only eight songs, but it covers so many sonic pleasures you will find them all here. There’s a wall of echo and feedback at the beginning and end of every track. Did I mention that not enough bands are using chorus anymore? Thank you for doing so.

Tweens did it three years ago and I had not heard it incorporated again until now. It’s truly a work of art, but a slap in the face of the current state of what art is labelled as. May the hiss never be quiet again. And all other new comers should take note – the game is changing for the better. Step it up. Everything becomes boring eventually. This is the least pretentious thing out there at the moment.

-Justin Crumpton