Vextion makes their return to the scene with their much-anticipated sophomore release, Vindictive. The five-track EP encapsulates the power trio’s live performance while covering an amalgamation of topics concerning self-worth, love, and vengeance. The band hasn’t changed members, which is a refreshing thing in an industry of incestuous group hopping that I witness on a weekly basis. I see one guy in another band I’m reviewing when I just mentioned him the week before and it gets ridiculous, so heads up to Vextion for sticking together and continuing to make great music.
Vextion consists of Kate Ortiz, vocals and guitar, Max Orozco, bass and Rob “Bobman” Crowther on drums. The sound they put out as a trio is genuinely fantastic, and they pull it off with style and grace. Vindictive was recorded as canyon Music LLC by Jeff Kalemba and was produced by Kalemba and Kate Ortiz.
Vextion is a well-established female-fronted rock band from Central New Jersey. Under the leadership of founder Kate Ortiz, the group is known for its high energy performances stemming from the passionate writing and vocal styles of its frontwoman.
Vextion has opened for and played alongside national acts such as P.O.D, Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf, Badfish, Burn Halo, Bobaflex and Michael Graves of the Misfits. They have also used their musical acumen to play for great causes such as Helping Hands of NJ, Move for Hunger, Soldiers Not Forgotten, a benefit for Turner’s Syndrome, and several Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
The band has been featured in several great media outlets including The Aquarian Weekly, 95.9 The Wrat, The Musicians Rock Network (online), William Patterson Campus Television, and the X 88.9 FM. Additionally, the trio has consistently been nominated for top-heavy rock act and top female vocalist by the Asbury Park Music Awards since 2013.
I wanted to give you a little taste of Vindictive here at The Shoreworld and encourage you to support live original music made by groups such as Vextion.
First up is a song called “Pride.” Vextion takes off with a quick intro before Ortiz joins in on vocals. The song is tight and toned blending bass, drums, and guitars perfectly to create a hornet’s nest of addictive sounds. Backing vocals are perfectly pitched, and song components all make perfect sense. The middle-eight breaks down featuring Ortiz with a riff dominated guitar growl supported by rhythmic bass and drum work before she jumps back into that hooky chorus. Ortiz’s voice is the perfect complement to this band and their musical style. Powerful, punchy and pitched right on track, Ortiz can soar high and scream with the rawest of emotions when needed. Choruses are catchy and robust, making “Pride” a song that fans will love and play repeatedly.
Another interesting song is “Burn.” If you are a fan (like me) of bands such as Adelitas Way or Hoobastank, you’ll get the gist of what this band is doing. This is hard rocking compositional gold in the vein of bands such as mentioned above. The magic happens here as Ortiz and company aren’t a copycat band and their compositions all contain original thought and action such as here on “Burn.” Opening with clean, fluid guitar work, Ortiz is softly joined by Max and Rob before tube-fueled guitars rhythm switch machine gun and blast into the intro with all the fury of Hurricane Andrew.
Ortiz and company bring it back down for the verse with electrics soaring single note in the stratosphere before kicking into the chorus. The subject matter is of a personal nature concerning love, relationships and the cacophony that ensues in the aftermath of good times gone bad. Ortiz’s voice is once again perfectly pitched and filled with emotion as she sings her heart out in front of the band. I love that each player understands his or her role in the group and each song, delivering the goods time after time as only they can. This is another fantastic song that should appeal to longtime fans and new listeners alike. Well done!
I have room to mention one more song. That song is called “Crash.” “Crash” reminds me of 1980s Guns N’ Roses. Once again, Ortiz uses the theme of rebellion and independence to get and take what she wants lyrically speaking, and it’s a hard rock tale of domination and revenge for sure. Guitars chug out the intro as Crowther keeps the beat and Ortiz sings her story of fiery fortitude and freedom in front of distorted guitars that utilize a syncopated style and dodge in and out of bass and drums like clockwork, before heading into her massive Slash-inspired lead break. I also loved the four-count harmony guitar piece at around 0:51 into the song. Simple but extremely effective.
Ortiz is probably one of the areas most underrated guitar players and to say she can keep up with the boys is an understatement for sure. Her lead breaks are all toned and formed from pentatonic brilliance and style. Crowther and Orozco know their job in the band and are the very best at what they do hands down. I listened to the entire EP, and while I didn’t have space to include it all, Vindictive is a tight, tasty EP filled with supreme talent and musical prowess. If you get a chance to pick it up, please do as I know you won’t be disappointed.
To find out more about Vextion and their new EP Vindictive, head over to vextion.com.
BlowUpRadio.com’s Annual New Year’s Eve Broadcast Will Benefit Local Crisis Hotline
I have known Lazlo for several years now, and in all that time the one thing that stands out about him is his dedication to the music scene. But he isn’t just another online DJ playing Top 40 hits and filling his playlist with commercials. No, he concentrates all his efforts on local artists that are doing their absolute best to gain recognition in a field where recognition is fleeting or is taken full advantage of by so many undeserving flashes in the pans.
But something special about Lazlo is also his commitment to other causes concerning health, both mental and physical. He extends his radio show and station services to support others in need at the drop of a hat, and that’s what this next piece is about.
The Internet radio station and music website BlowUpRadio.com, where New Jersey rock lives, has announced its annual New Year’s Eve Broadcast will double as a benefit for Caring Contact, a New Jersey-based award-winning, volunteer-staffed crisis hotline and listening community.
On Dec. 31, 2018, BlowUpRadio.com will broadcast live from noon until midnight with numerous local New Jersey artists performing live on air. In between performances, they will be playing party tunes to keep you entertained all day and night. Throughout the broadcast people will be discussing the vital work Caring Contact does, and how listeners can help.
“We have been doing our New Year’s Eve Broadcast for several years now, and it is always a great deal of fun to have an on-air party, but I am thrilled that this year we can add to our tradition by trying to raise some awareness and money for Caring Contact,” says Lazlo, the founder of BlowUpRadio.com. “The holiday season can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for many people, which is why Caring Contact, an organization affiliated with the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, seemed like a perfect fit. The work they do is so important, and often goes underappreciated.”
Artists scheduled to perform during BlowUpRadio.com’s New Year’s Eve Broadcast include Amanda Duncan, Amanda Rose Riley, Charlotte Morris, Hal Guitarist, Jenny Cat, Jim Testa, Laree Cisco, Michael Aquino, Rick & Max Dill, Shotgun Bill, Tony Tedesco, Ziggy Grover, and more to be announced.
The full performance schedule will be posted on BlowUpRadio.com in mid-December. For more information, please visit blowupradio.com.