Vega Grit Your Teeth cd review
10 years ago Vega released the Kiss Of Life cd and I was hooked with their blend of huge chorus hooks and melodic intent a sure fire winner for me.
Over the course of 4 more albums they have kept that melodic stance but with the addition of Mikey Kew on guitars to the live show they have built up the rock and now stand as one of the UK's finest live bands.
June 12th on Frontiers Records sees the release of Vega's sixth album Grit Your Teeth and sees the band spread their wings with some risks taken including their choice of producers.
Vega wrote the album from January 2019 until they started recording in August 2019. The album was recorded in an industrial unit in York with the Graves Brothers who have previously produced Asking Alexandria. That is more the “metal” side of the album and was a perfect fit for Vega as they wanted to blend melody and hooks with power.
I have lived with the music for a few weeks now and can happily report that Grit Your Teeth does embrace what Vega stands for with choruses and melodies to die for with the live show heaviness prevalent too.
Vega have always opened their albums with a bang and we now can add Blind to that list with a big riff from Mikey and Marcus Thurston on guitars and Martin Hutchinson on drums driving the song along at a great pace before the first great chorus.
Nick Workman I have loved as a vocalist since his days in Kick and he gets better with every outing with his melodic stratospheric vocal style a perfect fit to the music.
The Martin brothers James on keys and Tom on bass underpin it with across the album quite a few interesting keys riffs added to the mix only adding to the band's arsenal.
I Don't Need Perfection sees no dip in quality or pace with a probably my favourite chorus on the album with Nick reigning it back slightly with no loss in power or melody and what a superb 1-2 start and sure fire live winners too.
The title track is up next and another big guitar riff that stops and starts and love the second underlying riff that fills in the blanks.Big chorus and crowd sing along part in the middle of the song before Marcus hits another just so fiery guitar solo.
Man On A Mission starts with a swampy guitar riff and vocal effect before crashing in with a riff and rhythm built for stadium's.Love the way the original riff returns mid song before going straight back in and a real sense of dynamics in the light and shade before Hutchinson's double bass drum kick finish takes it up another notch.
Don't Fool Yourself has an insistent guitar riff where the great production shows itself off and Nick takes a higher tone in the chorus and a bright and breezy guitar solo shows another style to only push themselves to greater heights.
Consequences Of Having A Heart sees a bobbing bass line interspersed with a prominent keys riff that dips in and out and a change to the drum rhythm show the band again stretching themselves on a modern rock number which can only open up more markets for them.
This One's For You sees guitar and keys fighting for attention in the early riff before the guitars come to the fore and the chorus sees Nick's vocal added to by backing vocals and mid song sees no guitar solo just James's keys repeated.
Battle's Ain't A War sees the band showing their maturity in their writing with a quite stunning number that I hate to call a ballad.It's a slower paced rock number with a Nick showing off his range with a note at the end of the chorus that goes on forever.A superb chorus and then Marcus gets a chance to show that it's not only just about fast fingered soloing.The mid song solo is wonderful telling a story and then under Nick's chorus in the outro he again gets the chance to fly which he does with aplomb.
Save Me From Myself sees keys again taking the lead with a haunting melody and the verse starts with no guitar only Tom's bass before kickig in mid verse.The band are taking chances mixing it up and it is wonderful to see them doing it and seeing there are no boundaries to a great song which they have always been superb at.
How We Live has Nick in a higher tone and the backing vocals pre chorus are a neat touch before the chorus has Nick pushing it up another notch.
Done With Me starts on a short sharp keys riff before a huge guitar riff blows it out of the water.Love the mid song drum rhythm break down pre chorus with the guitar riffs very much taking the lead on this that will be a live favourite for sure.
Grit Your Teeth sees Vega pushing themselves to another level but not forgetting what they are built on with choruses and melodies as good if not better than ever before and a decade into a career another notch on the path to rock greatness.