by Adam Toth
Upon first glance of Vax Lavalaís debut album, I was definitely skeptical. There was no cover art, a slim CD case, and writing that looked like lipstick displaying the title of the CD and band name. It was something straight out of the Napster-days when burned CDs were crowding bookshelves and glove compartments. Either that or a demo thrown on stage with the hopes of another band hearing you. I have always unintentionally judged a book by its cover, but Vaxination is an album that definitely throws that approach out the window.
Vax Lavala shows a lot of promise, and a lot of talent. Actually, screw that, they show a lot of talent, and are already fulfilling promise. Each song has so much substance. These guys know that they know how to be a band, so they do whatís best and show it. The first song of the album is a gigantic assortment of music that gets everything off on the right foot. After four minutes of pure instrumentals, they open immediately with vocals and show that they are more than just an instrumental array of sound. ďAdam,Ē the lead singer has a great range of vocals, and can drag his voice seemingly forever without losing breath. But after a short time, Vax Lavala goes right back to their instrumental powers and shoots straight into a huge instrumental break. How big are these breaks? Enough to make half of the albumís songs more than six minutes long. Get ready to rock out.
Vaxination restored faith in my recently lost hope for label-less, self-recorded bands to be truly catchy. Sure, song lyrics are usually good, and the beats are usually worth tapping a foot, but I honestly canít remember the last CD of a band like Vax Lavala that I found myself singing the lyrics to. But listen to Vaxination for a little while and the words ďlove life and liberty . . . woah woah, ole ole ole!Ē will be ringing in your ear drums.
A last little tidbit: I had to read up on this band for my own fun and discovered that these Spokane/Cheney natives actually have a fun little back story to ďexplainĒ their name. Kind of difficult to explain, but letís just say that I now have much more confidence in alien-led rock groups. Yeah, thatís right, Iím on the Vax Lavala bandwagon.
More on Vax Lavala: www.myspace.com/vaxlavala.