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Album Review

Vennart – The Demon Joke


As ‘The Demon Joke’ thrives, Vennart stands tall wearing a grin.

Label: Superball Music
Released: 22nd June 2015

Rating: ★★★★

Mike Vennart was always going to make this album. His history – rich and influential – bears no influence on ‘The Demon Joke’ though. From the gentle leaning of ‘255’ to the dizzy heights of ‘Amends’, it stomps with the confidence of a grand vision.

Opener ‘255’ fades into a musical meadow before the scattergun fire of ‘Doubt’ forces you to take note of the landscape on offer. Across the ten tracks Vennart injects personality and passion into every pointed movement. The hopeful lament of ‘Don’t Forget The Joker’ twists like a blade in the gut while the twinkling ‘Infatuate’ quickly morphs into decadent pop flight.

‘The Demon Joke’ has a mystical quality to it, part winding narrative, part charmed objects; Vennart uses both voice and instrument to construct a fable that effortlessly transports you to another world. The flamboyant snarl of ‘Duke Fame’ playfully dances with the ridiculous while the instrumental hammer of ‘Operate’ sings with fiery choir. The care and precision that Vennart pours across ‘The Demon Joke’ gifts the instruments their own voice, the real majesty unfolding in the conversations within.

Above the fretboard whispers, lyrics tumble like scorched poetry. Fragments of charms and sonnets sit aside knowing conversations as ‘The Demon Joke’ battles with loss and the desire to carry on. “Are you on a magic carpet?” Vennart asks, somewhat knowingly, at the curtain rises of ‘The Demon Joke’ while “Where does the light go when it needs to die?” pleads for the relief of an answer.

Old friend or new acquaintance, Vennart weaves a textured masterpiece that wears technical flair over the macabre human condition. It’s heavy weather but there’s a joyful freedom that comes from survival. As ‘The Demon Joke’ thrives, Vennart stands tall wearing a grin. Ali Shutler