Vanishing Life – Vanishing Life

In every genre there are a handful of names that hold the power to raise hairs, quiver balls, moisten lips and pique ears with a mere whispered suggestion of their return, names that evoke fevered memories, demand attention and promise unbridled spunky joy. In post-hardcore, that list includes Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits and Rival Schools alumnus Walter Schreifels, a man whose distinctive (and increasingly Perry Farrell-esque) croon and off-kilter melodies have soundtracked many a scowling teenager’s formative years. Joined by members of Rise Against (Zach Blair), Trail of Dead (Autry Fulbright) and Bad Religion (Jamie Miller), Schreifels returns in 2016 with Vanishing Life, a punked up post-hardcore outfit that harks back to a number of the band’s past projects, but with a more streamlined modern punk sound. Much like last year’s ‘Nonstop Feeling’ by Turnstile, VL’s debut is heavily rooted in the alternative 1990s, but while that decade focused on angry, angular, anti-establishment ire, jabbing at guitars and “the man” in equal measure like a snotty child poking a sleeping cat, Vanishing Life choose instead to smooth those edges and focus on the luscious curves of melody rather than the barbed corners of angst. The most obvious comparisons on songs like ‘Outlier’, ‘Image’, ‘People Running’ and the title track are probably The Bronx and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, and while ‘Pretty Ruined’ offers the closest facsimile of Quicksand we are ever likely to see, it’s still passed through the fun-time sieve to filter out the pointiest particles. With many new bands embarking on a seemingly endless quest to push the envelope and try something new, it’s satisfying to know that this kind of simple but effective post-hardcore is still being done, and being done well. A triumphant return that strides comfortably from past to present to future.

Vanishing Life

Categories: Album Reviews, Reviews

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