American Illusion is a fun and often intelligent modern hard rock record that shows Venrez pulling all the stops to create a powerful debut record that simply reeks of rock and roll majesty. – Matt Baggins Two Guys Metal Reviews

Now here is a cool hard rock record from a band who have the honor to open up for Buckcherry and Hardcore Superstar this fall in Europe. American Illusion is a fun and often intelligent modern hard rock record that shows Venrez pulling all the stops to create a powerful debut record that simply reeks of rock and roll majesty. Yet these guys aren’t just pulling all the same tricks as their contemporaries, there are cool new edges to be found on American Illusion that show that Venrez have the creativity and originality to go far.

One of the things I really like about this record is the strange vaguely electronic delivery of the vocals on songs like The Beat Goes On it captures the sheer magic that this record often has. Their is a sort of Cynic vibe provided by these strange and ethereal vocals. Toss in some intelligent lyrics about the nature of America and you know you’re already off to a great start. Another great thing about this album are the wonderful riffs which are often very memorable and unafraid to reach out and touch the soul. With American Illusion Venrez not only put out some cool tunes, they make a statement, one that needs to be heard in this era of government shutdowns and NSA.

Read the rest of the review here


L.A. based rockers, Venrez are back with their sophomore release, ‘American Illusion’. A non-stop good time rock n’ roll album full of rock solid musicianship complete with tight rhythms and incredible riffs. The band is comprised of singer Steven Berez (whose last syllables of his first and last name serve as the group’s name), guitarists Jason Womack and Alex Kane, bassist Michael Bradford, and drummer Ed Davis. ‘American Illusion’ is on a whole different level than the band’s debut release, ‘Sell The Lie, which is a strong album, its just this album is far superior. The band is tighter, the band influences are more noticable and yet they sound more original and the songs are just all around better. From opening riff of, “Unforeseen” you know you are in for one hell of a ride. Then you have “Sanctity” a mighty catchy, feel-good hard rock anthem with punk-y, grungy bass lines, big, heavy riffs, and memorable, vocal hook.

The tandem guitar work by Womack and Kane is tight and the rhythm section of Bradford and Davis give Venrez it’s rock solid foundation. The band’s tight chemistry is evident on tracks like the groove laden movers, “Free Will” and “Vultures”. The band also cover the Sonny and Cher classic ‘Beat Goes On’ which is melt in your mouth good, infact it is too good to be true. Makes you forget that it is even a cover. All in all ‘American Illusion’ is a hard rock record with strong vocals, melodic rhythms and wall to wall of guitar! Clearly Venrez were not influenced by the countless Sons of Plunder label executives that roll up their sleeves and tell new modern rock bands that you need to sound like Nickleback in order to sell albums. Venrez may be the success story no one expected. If these guys keep it together for a third album, who knows what they could accomplish. All I hear and see from Venrez are better things to come. ‘American Illusion’ is a modern rock classic. – Highly Recommended

Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine


A Must have for 2013! – Matthew O’Shaughnessy WVOX’s Metal Mayhem

(left to right) Tony Gizzo, Matt O'Shaughnessy, Rob Pruss - AKA The Metal Mayhem Crew.

(left to right) Tony Gizzo, Matt O’Shaughnessy, Rob Pruss – AKA The Metal Mayhem Crew.

“The City Of Angels – LA – has produced some of the world’s biggest household rock and hard rock titans in the past thirty-five to forty years…Van Halen, Dokken, Guns N’ Roses and tons more. Now it’s time for Venrez to take their utterly rightful place among those aforementioned bands and legends.

Make no mistake, the group’s new album “American Illusion” delivers the goods and more and is a much welcome addition to any fan of stellar American hard rock with its chugging riffing, innovative and unique vocals of frontman Ven. The band follows up their acclaimed “Sell The Lie” album with much power and finesse and the single “Unforeseen” will definitely be seen and heard for years to come! A Must have for 2013!”

Matthew O’Shaughnessy, Producer/Host – WVOX’s Metal Mayhem, New York


In a world where mainstream music is made primarily of auto-tune and synthesizers, Venrez give us the sound of a real rock band, with guitars, drums, bass, and raw vocals. Their debut album “Sell the Lie” is 10 tracks of head banging guitar solos and cymbal-heavy drumbeats.

The band prides themselves on their recording system- every member crams into the studio at the same time and records live. The difference in sound does not go unnoticed. It’s like listening to a “live in concert” album but without the distracting clapping and cheering. You get the live concert experience through digital tracks.

The records title track, “Sell the Lie,” comments on the “lies” that big business, governments, and other organizations try to sell to the people. The first line, “so many atrocities, all of which the world has seen” pretty much sets the political tone.

“Can’t Find My Way Home” is the obligatory rock ballad. We hear a more calm and soothing side of lead singer Steven Berez’s voice, and the track is a nice break from the previous 7 jams.

“Karma” is a rock and roll anthem. This is the main single from the band. Watch out, because it will probably get stuck in your head. The harmonies in the chorus are simple and effective, the beat is solid, and the guitar leads are strong.

Venrez is doing something different with their music, and they’re doing it well. It’s a refreshing throwback to earlier rock and roll musical eras.



These just guys rock. That’s really all there is to it. I’m sure we’ll all be hearing more from Venrez. – Donny Harvey Musik Reviews

Sell The Lie opens with radio static fading in into the first song, with the words “Hollywood, L.A.” and then “Hollywood” clearly audible. It’s a perfect introduction, because the music that follows echoes of some of L.A.’s finest bands (on the heavier side) such as Guns n’ Roses and Motley Crue. In fact the vocals of singer Steven Berez are reminiscent of Axel Rose in his low range.

The drum beat and wailing guitars on “Melting” call to mind another L.A. great, Tool, although once developed the sound is not as far out as Tool often is. “Tell The Lie,” on the other hand, begins with a bit of a departure from the L.A. sound giving a nice break from the overall tone of the album. Here a Seger-like guitar introduction is suddenly punctuated by the heavy thud of the bass drum. Then it’s just plain shredded as the guitar erupts on the short chorus, which hits like the blow away in a Live song.

The introspective “My Only Light” ends the album on a mellow high note. The vocal harmonies have a leaning towards Alice in Chains, with Berez’s distinctive baritone backed impressively by a tenor with a more open (almost classical) tone, much like the vocal relationship of Staley and Cantrell. On this track, however, it’s the guitar work of Jason Womack that steals the show with bending melodic intensity like Gilmour (though this music overall is not like Pink Floyd). These just guys rock. That’s really all there is to it. I’m sure we’ll all be hearing more from Venrez.

By – Donny Harvey
Musik Reviews


California rock band Venrez has just wrapped up a very successful tour with Fuel. Comprised of Steven Berez aka Venrez, Jason Womack on guitar, Alex Kane on guitar, Ed Davis on drums, and Michael Bradford on bass. Venrez is gearing up for a February 28th release of Sell The Lie. Venrez has a very classic rock sound. After listening to the album in full, Venrez’ vocals remind one of Zakk Wylde. Actually, the guitar playing on Sell The Lie sounds like Concrete Jungle, in a good way!

Opening track, “Karma” sets the tone for the hard driving classic rock sound. With lyrics that say, “Some deeds never go away, Destined to follow you one day.” It has that underlying message; you always reap what you sow. “Yesterday Has Gone” is a catchy song with driving melodies. One thing about this album is the lyrics. They make you stop, listen and think. “Melting “has a slower acoustical vibe about death. The last chorus has a Beatles hook reminiscent of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”

As for the Alice In Chains reference, “Insanity” and “Ants And Sand” have that driving grunge guitar appeal. The title track Sell The Lie is the most commercial song on the album. It deals with the agony of war. One of the most interesting tracks on the album is the remake of Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My way Home.”

Overall, Sell The Lie by Venrez has a huge classic guitar sound that is infectious. Sell The Lie can be purchased on itunes or the band’s website at

Genre: Classic Rock

Band Members: Steven Berez – Venrez Jason Womack – Guitar Alex Kane – Guitar Michael Bradford – Bass Ed Davis – Drums

Track Listing:

l. Karma

2. Yesterday Has Gone

3. Insanity

4. Melting

5. Ants And Sand

6. Sell The Lie

7. Unplanned Fate

8. Can’t Find My Way Home

9. Messenger

10. My Only Light


By – Deb Rao

Hardrock Haven


“But other than a few changes of pace, this is a band that rocks. It’s a debut album that ought to get them quite a bit of attention.” – Jack Goodstein Blog Critics

I had always thought that freedom was just another word for nothing left to lose. But then I read an interview with Venrez (the artist formerly known as Steven Berez) while getting together some information for this review of Sell the Lie, the debut album of the band he fronts, also conveniently named Venrez—Venrez it turns out combines the last syllable of Steven’s first name with the last syllable of his last name. The interviewer asks him what he meant by the line “freedom’s just a state of mind” in the album’s title song. It means, Venrez answers, “that we control how we think and feel. No one can make us feel anything. We have the choice to be the cause or the reaction.”

Nice answer, and not as pithy perhaps, but clearly more political in a song that takes aim at the powers that be and their attempt to control the message. “Sell the Lie” is the kind of song that could appeal to both Occupy Wall Street protestors and Tea Party patriots, depending on whom you think is doing the selling—big corporations or overreaching government. In the interview, Venrez talks about “corporate monsters,” but big government would do just as well for his message. Especially as many would argue that there isn’t much difference between the two. Politics aside, “Sell the Lie” is a rocker with roots in the ’70s with an infectious hook that drives home its message.

Infectious hooks are a hallmark of the album’s songs in general, most of which were written by Venrez and Jason Womack (guitar, keys and backing vocals), and some with credit to Tommy “Joho” Johnson and bassist Mike Bradford. The one cover on the album is the Blind Faith/Steve Winwood classic “Can’t Find My Way Home.” In addition to Womack and Bradford, Venrez includes guitarist Alex Kane and Ed Davis on drums.

They like to take a key phrase, tie it to the hook, and let it rip. Take the album’s opening song, “Karma,” a very personal diatribe about betrayal: “Got no heart and still [?] no soul/What did you get from what you stole/Some things never go away.” The repetition is riveting. “Yesterday Has Gone” and “Melting,” which follow, do the same thing. “Don’t get caught up in the sorrow/Because yesterday has gone tomorrow,” in the former, while the chorus that begins “Got to be a better way to go” is featured in the latter. These are hooks that stay with you.

Asked for a phrase to describe the band’s musical style, Venrez always, it seems, a good interview, says “big rockalicious,” probably as good a descriptor as any. Put together some nice vocal harmonies with some dynamic guitar and if you want something stronger than rock, why not “rockalicious.” There are some softer moments, the beginning of the Blind Faith cover for example, and on “My Only Light,” the song that closes the album. Venrez explains that this song was based on a Civil War letter from Joshua Chamberlain. But other than a few changes of pace, this is a band that rocks. It’s a debut album that ought to get them quite a bit of attention.

By – Jack Goodstein
Blog Critics

VENREZ Prepares to Release New Album ‘Sell The Lie’

With more and more modern rock music sounding processed and over-produced, it’s refreshing to come across a new band that doesn’t forget the glorious sounds of raw rock music. And that band is Venrez, who are preparing to unleash their debut full-length, ‘Sell The Lie,’ on February 28th, 2012.

Comprised of singer Steven Berez (whose last syllables of his first and last name serve as the group’s nom de plum), guitarists Jason Womack and Alex Kane, bassist Michael Bradford, and drummer Ed Davis, the Los Angeles-based group cites such wide-ranging outfits as Alice In Chains, Jesus And Mary Chain, and The Doors as their influences. And Berez certainly approves of his group’s high-octane sonic cocktail. “I consider our music to be a 70’s beat that has been made 2012 fresh. It sounds like something you have heard
but then it’s clear you have not.”

As Berez explained, it wasn’t by accident how the debut album turned out, sound-wise. “The album was recorded live, as we wanted to give that live sound. I sang the vocals to the music, as if performing live. Therefore, we accomplished that live sound and feeling, which was exactly what we intended and wanted to do.”

And as evidenced by such standout tracks as “Karma” (a tune Berez describes as “written about a former partner who tried to hurt me”), “Insanity” (described as “my tribute to the goddesses of this world”) and the title track (which “speaks to the heart of corporate greed” and other wrong doings in the modern world), ‘Sell The Lie’ balances thought-provoking lyrics with raucous rock.

The group has already set aside much of 2012 to support their debut album the good old fashioned way – with heavy duty touring. “Venrez live is a very special rock show,” explains Berez. “All the members are amazing players and showmen. We go on feel a lot, and every live show is slightly different than the other – much like a Rolling Stones or Aerosmith concert. It’s big, in your face, captivating, and sexy as fuck!”

Soon, rock fans get a chance to sink their teeth into Venrez’s rough and rocking ‘Sell The Lie.’

By – Chee Kam
Pure Grain Audio