Music Reviews

Artist: Ending The Vicious Cycle
Title: s/t
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
When I opened the package from Ending The Vicious Cycle I was presented with a press kit boasting comparisons to Psychedelic Furs, Bauhaus and the Cure. What I heard when I put on the band's demo was a very 80s, Goth and darkwave-influenced band, but Psych Furs and Bauhaus this isn't. Ending The Vicious Cycle just doesn't deliver the excellent songwriting and hooks of bands like Psychedelic Furs, Bauhaus and the Cure. It's not to say that the songs on the demo are bad, it's just that this is a band more in vein of the less mainstream, but no less respectable, bands like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Theatre of Hate and The Mission.

The first song, "Touch Dispelled," opens the CD with an uptempo, Sisters of Mercy meets Dreamtime-era Cult kind of vibe, courtesy of a Billy Duffy inspired riff, and an Andrew Eldritch inspired rhythmic vocal and deep synths by guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Toby Rider. The song moves pretty nicely until it hits the obligatory, and, in the case of this track, unnecessary half-time bridge. It's at this point I realized that I haven't heard a chorus, or any lyric to sing along with. But, it's still a pretty cool track, and I can imagine how this would be a fan favorite, and get people dancing.

On track 2, "Glass," Toby Rider's guitar takes us from the Dreamtime-ear Cult to early Theatre of Hate. This time Rider's vocal delivery on "Glass" gives us hints of Hate's Kirk Brandon and the Furs' Paul Butler. Like track 1, this is another cool uptempo track, but this time delivers the hook. It takes quite a while to get there, but you finally have something to sing along with. Sadly the hook is short and goes by very quickly and devolves into a half-time bridge, with the hook only making one more appearance at the very end. This track would be better served with more hook and less bridge. Like "Touch Dispelled," it's easy to imagine this being another fan favorite, and a track that gets people dancing.

What follows are 4 very disappointing, incomplete-sounding, poorly performed and hard to listen to tracks. Mixes are all over the place and out of balance, vocals are often hard to hear, the bass, guitar and drums out of time with each other, and I swear I heard the click track running through one of the songs. The production, or lack thereof, takes away from anything the band might be trying to say with these last 4 songs.

Having said all that, Ending the Vicious Cycle label this CD a demo and the last four tracks of this demo CD sound very much like early, rough tracks, which you would find on a box set that fans that like listening to the development of a song might enjoy listening to. Ending the Vicious Cycle will be releasing an EP near the end of 2011 that I look forward to hearing.

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