If everything is bigger and better in Texas, then Texas-based garage punk band VIDEO should be putting out immense albums. Additionally being a member of Jack White‘s label, Third Man Records, raises hopes that a superb product will be put out. The new release The Entertainers, whilst combining quality musicians, fails to leave anything but a mediocre impression.
“Opening,” a simple piano piece building a ominous mood, doesn’t exactly serve as a good introduction to the group’s self-proclaimed “Hate Wave” sound. Debut album Leather Leather in contradiction dove headfirst into rough guitar strokes and a rapid drum rhythm. The album’s titular track enters with a folk-like introduction, but value deteriorates as the vocals are added. The slurred lyrics seem to be recorded at a much lower quality compared to the instrumentals: the former appears muffled and strained, whilst the latter crisp and well-defined.
The highlight of The Entertainers is most definitely the guitar work. The multi-octave stretching solo within “New Immortals” and the lively pick up halfway through “Nothing Lasts Forever” allow one to retain interest despite the tiresome half sung half shouted vocals. However, the vocalist does do an appreciable job varying his use of tempo and tones in order to reflect the theme of each particular track. A monotone voice carries the chorus of “There is no art left in this world,” taken from “No Art;” at the same time a frantic nature commands “Out Of My Hands.”
Potential lies waiting, yet the execution is thus far sub-par. Bass-driven “I Will Wait” has one waiting for something of interest to occur; this is exactly the case throughout the album. Too focused on trying to convey the message of each track through musical symbolism, VIDEO forgets to just let the music flow. Until this time comes, I will wait.