Southern California punk rock band Plague Vendor have released a new album entitled, By Night. Exploring many sub-genres of rock and punk, the album is easily Plague Vendor’s 10 most consistent tracks yet. You can expect a few things from each song: passionate screeching vocals, catchy, frenetic riffs, and the fact that you will be uncontrollably headbanging along. By Night is a fitting title for the record. All the songs sound like they take place at night in a gritty high stakes punk world. Once the album starts it goes fast and hard, with little time to catch a breath.
“Let Me Get High/Low” is the first track that really catches your attention. Frontman Brandon Blaine’s vocals soar over the moody punk verse. The lead guitar’s hypnotic riff transitions perfectly to the repeated mantra of the chorus, “let me get high, let me get low.” The ending of the song crescendos into an overlaying of chords and ringing feedback from guitars.
Perhaps the best track on the album is the dark and brooding “Pain In My Heart.” The bass riffs are loud and rolling, and the guitar is fast, distorted, and maniacal. The descending hammer on riff in the chorus is gritty and infectious. You can feel Blaine’s emotion as he screams, “you’re the pain in my heart,” and shrieks, “slow kill!!!” This song is on the back half of the album where the songs feel darker and more tense, as if time is out and dawn is approaching.
There are many high points on the album. From the bright, reverb soaked chords in “Prism,” to the tremolo shredding in the bridge and outro of “Night Sweats,” all the way to the impressive catchiness of the single “New Comedown,” this album is packed from start to finish.
Truthfully, there’s “bad” song on the album. By Night remains consistent throughout its entirety with little deviation. While these songs may never reach a ‘timeless classics’ status, they accomplish exactly what they set out to do. Also, it really should also be noted how great it is to see an authentic guitar driven rock band in 2019. Plague Vendor utilizes the right amount of bells and whistles without any overproduction and the end result is a gritty and passionate punk album.