There are brief moments of brilliance, but they’re too few and far between.
Released: 25th March 2016
‘Bloodsweat’, the latest offering from California punks Plague Vendor, parades a ballsy return that just misses the mark. It’s a record born to be played live; there’s a level of mania and energy that would come off a lot better in a crowded room full of sweaty fans.
That said, tracks ‘Jezebel’ and ‘Saturday Night Shakes’ provide addictive hooks, while ‘Ox Blood’ throws a poppy guitar line into melancholy drums and vocals. ‘Got It Bad’’s foreboding noise combined with shouts of “she got it bad” makes for a glorious punk anthem.
Nevertheless, ‘Bloodsweat’ is predictable; throughout there seems to be a reliance on haunting vocals to carry the songs, that and the odd good riff – ‘ISUA’ being a shining example. It has the potential to be huge, but the formula holds it back.
Despite the valiant attempts of encapsulating Plague Vendor’s adrenaline fuelled live shows and putting it on record, it doesn’t come across as well as you’d hope. There are brief moments of brilliance, but they’re too few and far between. Emily Pilbeam