Vextion will celebrate their five-song EP, “Vindicative,” on Feb. 2 at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch.

Vextion are fun, talented hard rock band with elements of metal and tinges of grunge. Their sophomore EP, the five-song Vindictive, is their first in nearly eight years.

Slimmed down to a power a trio since 2011’s What I Am, Vextion open Vindictive with the scorching “Pride,” which features a fantastic funky intro. I also love the death metal-like ending that demonstrates how founder Kate Ortiz shreds not only on guitar but vocals.

Emotional rocker “Break” chronicles the kind of love that feels so good but is so bad so you have to take a break in order to survive. The standout, however, is the next track, the grungy, fiery “Burn” about a toxic relationship that needs to be extinguished. A cross between the passionate shred of Lita Ford and the fat, ferocious rhythms of L7, “Burn” should get Vextion lots of play on local rock radio.

Fans of both Doro and Metallica will appreciate “Last Breath,” Vextion’s variation on The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” Adding to the musical treat is a hot ‘n’ sweet drum break by Rob “Bobman” Crowther. 

Kudos also go to bassist Max Orozco, who provides a tastefully technical foundation upon which, Ortiz can swing her axe. This is especially the case on the explosive closer, “Crash,” about a power struggle within a passionate relationship. “Crash” also rules because it features a dynamite ending in which Ortiz ably and impressively stretches her vocal chops in a way that matches her guitar ability.

No doubt, she is one of the best shredders in New Jersey, and if she was a guy, her band would be even bigger than they are. I hope someday Vextion get to share the stage with Little Vicious in a spectacular girl guitar summit. If it doesn’t happen in due time, I will have to try to make it so.

In the meantime, Vextion will celebrate the release of Vindictive on Feb. 2 at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch with Ropetree, Lower the Veil and Jag One. What you will find is the lasting, convicting power of music in terms of both the artist and the audience.

Bob Makin is the reporter for www.MyCentralJersey.com/entertainmentand a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at makinwaves64@yahoo.com. And like Makin Waves at www.facebook.com/makinwavescolumn.

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