Venrez – Children Of The Drones
Soon to go on tour with Michael Schenker, Venrez (fronted by a guy called Ven… really) come bearing hard alt rock of a beefy, slightly pensive nature. Brandish forth your air guitars and your finest brooding expressions.
If you like your rock with a bit of a psychedelic tinge then this album is for you and following the success of ‘American Illusion’ I could see this moving Venrez to the next level.
‘Children Of The Drones’ is the third album release by Venrez following their critically acclaimed 2nd album ‘American Illusion’ which found them supporting Slash and Alice Cooper amongst others. The band were formed back in 2011 by frontman Steven Berez (hence the venrez monicker) who met up with multi-instrumentalist Jason Womack and the pair formed a writing partnership almost immediately.
The guys are based on the west coast of America and have drawn their inspiration from the likes of Alice In Chains and the Doors to produce high quality Californian psychedelica. ‘Hang The Predator’ starts things off with a bang. This is a full on AIC like rocker right down to the twin vocals running throughout. Title track ‘Children Of The Drones’ follows and has a more straight forward approach , no nonsense rock with a big chorus.
The pair, together with Ed Davis on drums, seamlessly manage to flow from the faster, rockier tracks into more laid back and spaced out epics like ‘Mist Of Mercy’ with ease. The echoing guitar work of Womack is perfectly paced and pitched to carry you along on a rippling melodic wave.
“A force to be reckoned with… Venrez totally killed it with their powerful set!”
Venrez graced the stage of The Purple Turtle mid-afternoon and those that weren’t there missed out on something special. Having performed a run of 9 shows with Richie Ramone across the UK, the band were showing no signs of this, with singer Venrez putting on a performance that was both mesmerising and energy fuelled in equal parts. With their hard rock sound and harmonies that sounded sublime throughout, ‘Karma’ kicked off the set in epic rock style as the guitar crunched along to a darker vocal.
Few bands make music like this anymore and Venrez offer a perfect snapshot of what the mainstream shouldsound like.
Hailing from LA, Venrez deal in the same sort of psychedelic-tinged hard rock that made Stone Temple Pilots’ ‘core’ such a potent brew. With hard –hitting riffs, gruff yet tuneful vocals and a bucketload of attitude, Venrez capitalize upon the success of their 2013 debut, ‘American Illusion’ with ‘children of the drones’, a ten track ride through the sun-bleached heartlands of America that hints at a love of Alice in Chains, STP, stabbing westward and Filter as the band effortlessly meld irresistible pop melodies to insatiable hard rock riffs.
The band open with ‘hang the predator’, a track which cleverly builds to its pummelling riff and which perfectly sets the tone for the album. With unforgettable riffs sending the blood pumping around the body, vaguely progressive lead breaks scratch the surface whilst the vocals snarl from within the heart of the maelstrom. The title track utilises a similar template, the hefty riffs underpinned by fine drumming and the whole given plenty of melodic bite thanks to the tidy vocals. An early highlight of the album, ‘devil’s due’ is a breezy, heavy track with a chunky riff and distorted vocal, all of which seems set to wedge itself into your brain without so much as a by your leave. It doesn’t seem so long ago that bands in this vein used to rule the airwaves and it takes a minute to sink in that almost no one makes music like this in the current climate, which is a great shame because Venrez, on the strength of this material, have great potential to reach a massive audience. With a thumping dance beat and reverb-laden lead, ‘salvation’ is a pumping slab of dancefloor-friendly rock, the likes of which hasn’t been heard since Muse’s ‘black holes and revelations’. Instantly danceable, it’s a track with plenty of depth beside, and you can’t help but feel that it’s the ideal opening blow that the band can strike in order to get the night going in the live environment. Finally displaying a tenderer side, ‘Mist of mercy’ sees the band slow the pace for a swirling track that mixes up ‘jar of flies’-era Alice in Chains with the Doors and Ozzy Osbourne. It’s an atmospheric track that borders on the hypnotic and it provides a suitable close to the first half of the record, winding its way around the listener, wrapping them in a gossamer fine melody that is beautiful and yet so fragile you fear it could fall apart at any moment.
The soundtrack theme song to the feature motion picture ‘Sacred Blood’, directed by Christopher Coppola, produced by Ross Angel & starring Anna Biani, Bailey Coppola, Michael Madsen, Bai Ling and Jeffrey Gliwa, from the Venrez album ‘Children Of The Drones’.
L.A. based rockers, Venrez are back with their third release, ‘Children Of The Drones’. Ven – vocals Jason Womack – guitars Nico D’Arnese – bass Ed Davis – drums. This time around the band serves up a sonic rock sound that seems them really going for the throat.
The album opens up with the atmospheric and moody mid tempo Hang The Predator before bursting into life with the albums rocking title track. Devils Due manages to somehow combine elements of the two previous tracks, with the vocal effects and up tempo riffs. Salvation is yet another fine rocking track that maintains the albums pace whilst twisting and turning through many tempo changes during its course.
Mist of Mercy slows things down a little with its acoustic driven intro and almost psychedelic feel. A great song that for some reason reminds me of US doom rockers Troubles more mellow moments.
So far, 2015 is panning out to be a fantastic year for AOR and the classic american rock sound we’re all very familiar with, but throw in a successful movie producer with dreams of creating a worthy rock band into the mix and you hear the unmistakable sound of Venrez. With two well-recieved albums already released (Sell The Lie and American Illusion), and the experience of touring with the established artist; Slash, and Alice Cooper, Venrez is certainly on route to be something of a stand-out artist on the scene with new album ‘Children Of The Drones’.
‘Children Of Drones’ is a very interesting album (to say the least). Heavy riffs and use of compression, phasers, and epic futuristic emulating effects takes Venrez in a completely different direction than most emerging artists seem to be heading towards. I’m not too sure which genre this music lends itself to, but i’m convinced that being unable to categorise this album can’t be a bad thing in a genre that can be pretty saturated with emerging artists who are striving to achieve a unique sound.
What do you get when you cross Nirvana, The Doors, Alice In Chains, and a former movie producer, Steven Berez? The correct answer is Venrez. Formed in 2011, the band has pushed out their third studio album, Children of the Drones, and set a new precedence for themselves in an album that balls up many facets of the rock spectrum to bring a new genre to the forefront as displayed on the groups Facebook page, Epic Alternative Rock.
The band, coming off touring with the likes of Alice Cooper, Buckcherry, Slash, and Hardcore Superstar, can add another notch to their belts. The first single released off the album, “Hang the Predator,” pulls you in with a small chant of “we must remember” coupled perfectly with a small electronic crescendo. With a grunge-styled guitar riff in the background, one that’s so solid that it can only help to compound the lyrical elegance over and over again of what the album is all about, “we must unite to hang the predator.” This is an album that is centered around a single predator, that of the government.
The band’s smooth, pacifying, unpretentious guitar riffs found throughout the album, mainly come to the forefront in songs like “Mist of Mercy” and “Reflection,” where they also mix flawlessly with lead singer Venrez’ voice. This unique album will leave the listener entrenched in a trance begging for more of the groups laid back, psychedelic style.