Exit a Hero Rock, Noise The Vigilance Committee Exit a Hero is the second full-length album by Long Island weirdo-indie rockers, The Vigilance Committee. They haven’t always been so weird, however, as the band started as a more conventional rock outfit in 2009 whose only unique element was a vestigial harpist. Now sans harp, Exit a Hero has brought out the more experimental side to The Vigilance Committee. This album not only showcases the group’s heretofore hidden technical prowess but it creates a truly unique sound with which the band can try to etch out a niche for themselves in the very samey indie climate of today. All four members of The Vigilance Committee were integral in writing and producing Exit a Hero and it is evident in their song composition that it was a collaborative effort. Lead vocalist and guitarist Peter J. Scoma, drummer and vocalist Phil Corso, Christian Cepeda on guitar, keyboard and vocals and Jesse Asch on bass and vocals all add their own unique elements to the album to make it what it is: a segmented composite of styles that somehow works by creating a unique style out of its respective parts.  This multi-faceted style must be a new venture for The Vigilance Committee, as their first album,  Lost Again, is much more standard alt rock with some surf punk. Still a great album, Lost Again is definitely a little easier to characterize with similarities to Vampire Weekend or The Mars Volta with a little Smashing Pumpkins and The Cramps thrown in for good measure. As of April 2014 when Lost Again was released, The Vigilance Committee were part of a growing throwback grunge scene but they clearly decided to change directions with Exit a Hero. The minor keys and dissonant vocals of the grunge era are still present as are the surf punk guitars and drums in many cases, but they have been decidedly scaled back. More often on Exit a Hero listeners will find chaotic, organized noise-style guitars and songs arranged in 30-second-to-one-minute vignettes which are of all different styles and compositions. These vignettes are then laced together, sometimes in a jagged manner, within a loose song structure to create a piece which is cohesive and listenable despite all this seemingly piecemeal composition work.. The opening track, Set the Pacific on Fire, is a great first single and lead-in to the new style the band are trying to cultivate. It opens with funky Zappa-like guitars so syncopated that a beat can’t even really be found. The style then changes with all the subtlety of a slideshow changing from family shots to porn into a series of minor scales played by both guitars and bass, then quickly changes again into a more melodic verse. The song switches back and forth between these three parts, seemingly whenever the mood strikes the band, but it is n fact a highly coordinated performance which takes painstaking composition of all the parts and razor-sharp and intuitive coordination by all band members. The song finally devolves into a surprising acoustic outro, leaving the listener a bit frazzled but in awe of what just occurred. The rest of Exit a Hero is a study in the kinds of limits that can be pushed when dealing with the fairly rigid structure of rock. The band’s varied approach to this study produces equally varied results. Taking What’s Mine also has some fun guitar scales and a jam-band feel to the backing track (dare I sad Phish?).  If you like surf rock, 186 and Physics of Forms still have quite a bit of that vibe, but true to the theme of Exit a Hero, each song shifts into other gears without a clutch just like Set the Pacific on Fire. The overall result on this album is a fun romp through some of the more creative ways to use indie rock and it most definitely exposes the members of The Vigilance Committee as true progressive and experimental musicians, not just indie rockers following a trend. Indeed, The Vigilance Committee follow almost no trends. In a currently very homogenous indie climate, The Vigilance Committee combine chaotic noise funk, 60s surf rock and much more to create a sound and a uniqueness the like of which hasn’t been seen since The Flaming Lips or even the Pixies. The best way to experience this exciting band is to listen, however, so check out their video for Set the Pacific on Fire below and stream the whole of Exit a Hero on the band’s Bandcamp page. 550
Brutal Resonance

The Vigilance Committee - Exit a Hero

9.0
"Amazing"
Spotify
Released off label 2015

Exit a Hero is the second full-length album by Long Island weirdo-indie rockers, The Vigilance Committee. They haven’t always been so weird, however, as the band started as a more conventional rock outfit in 2009 whose only unique element was a vestigial harpist. Now sans harp, Exit a Hero has brought out the more experimental side to The Vigilance Committee. This album not only showcases the group’s heretofore hidden technical prowess but it creates a truly unique sound with which the band can try to etch out a niche for themselves in the very samey indie climate of today.

All four members of The Vigilance Committee were integral in writing and producing Exit a Hero and it is evident in their song composition that it was a collaborative effort. Lead vocalist and guitarist Peter J. Scoma, drummer and vocalist Phil Corso, Christian Cepeda on guitar, keyboard and vocals and Jesse Asch on bass and vocals all add their own unique elements to the album to make it what it is: a segmented composite of styles that somehow works by creating a unique style out of its respective parts. 

This multi-faceted style must be a new venture for The Vigilance Committee, as their first album,  Lost Again, is much more standard alt rock with some surf punk. Still a great album, Lost Again is definitely a little easier to characterize with similarities to Vampire Weekend or The Mars Volta with a little Smashing Pumpkins and The Cramps thrown in for good measure. As of April 2014 when Lost Again was released, The Vigilance Committee were part of a growing throwback grunge scene but they clearly decided to change directions with Exit a Hero. The minor keys and dissonant vocals of the grunge era are still present as are the surf punk guitars and drums in many cases, but they have been decidedly scaled back.

More often on Exit a Hero listeners will find chaotic, organized noise-style guitars and songs arranged in 30-second-to-one-minute vignettes which are of all different styles and compositions. These vignettes are then laced together, sometimes in a jagged manner, within a loose song structure to create a piece which is cohesive and listenable despite all this seemingly piecemeal composition work..

The opening track, Set the Pacific on Fire, is a great first single and lead-in to the new style the band are trying to cultivate. It opens with funky Zappa-like guitars so syncopated that a beat can’t even really be found. The style then changes with all the subtlety of a slideshow changing from family shots to porn into a series of minor scales played by both guitars and bass, then quickly changes again into a more melodic verse. The song switches back and forth between these three parts, seemingly whenever the mood strikes the band, but it is n fact a highly coordinated performance which takes painstaking composition of all the parts and razor-sharp and intuitive coordination by all band members. The song finally devolves into a surprising acoustic outro, leaving the listener a bit frazzled but in awe of what just occurred.

The rest of Exit a Hero is a study in the kinds of limits that can be pushed when dealing with the fairly rigid structure of rock. The band’s varied approach to this study produces equally varied results. Taking What’s Mine also has some fun guitar scales and a jam-band feel to the backing track (dare I sad Phish?).  If you like surf rock, 186 and Physics of Forms still have quite a bit of that vibe, but true to the theme of Exit a Hero, each song shifts into other gears without a clutch just like Set the Pacific on Fire. The overall result on this album is a fun romp through some of the more creative ways to use indie rock and it most definitely exposes the members of The Vigilance Committee as true progressive and experimental musicians, not just indie rockers following a trend. Indeed, The Vigilance Committee follow almost no trends.

In a currently very homogenous indie climate, The Vigilance Committee combine chaotic noise funk, 60s surf rock and much more to create a sound and a uniqueness the like of which hasn’t been seen since The Flaming Lips or even the Pixies. The best way to experience this exciting band is to listen, however, so check out their video for Set the Pacific on Fire below and stream the whole of Exit a Hero on the band’s Bandcamp page.

May 19 2015

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Layla Marino

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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