Vega4 v Excitement 1.
'You and Me' by Vega4 is the opening track on the album and it's been a song that has been heard on the radio quite a few times. The thing is, up until today, I never realised who it was. After hearing it, the thought was always to go back and check the James Dean Bradfield solo album to check if the song was on there, such is the laid-back ease of the track and striking vocal delivery. Knowing that it's by Vega4 in no way diminishes the track, and also brings greater praise that a new band would gamble on gaining radio airplay with a song that contains the lyrics "yeah, I really fucking do". When you have a chorus worth hearing over and over, a slight edit and clean up can make the world of a difference.
And there's a wealth of modern day influences on this record, the first few tracks evoking the aforementioned Bradfield but also Doves, Maximo Park and Editors. Vega4 are clearly a band made for these times but the important issue lies in whether they have enough to make a name for themselves or are they merely going to be seen as a filler act? One who is great for support slots and to time their albums for release in between the big hitters or will Vega4 become on the major acts of now?
With Jacknife Lee taking on production duties, it can be seen that some of the sprinklings given to Snow Patrol and U2 managed to sneak into play here and whilst there is nothing of such brilliant pop capabilities as Jacknife's very own 'Easy', there is a bundle of radio-friendly and large venue filling tracks on show.
There are some good moments throughout the record but there's not enough to stand out or really make a hit. 'You' is quite good, in a half decent 'Urban Hymns' type manner but that compliment also undermines what the album is about. There's niceness and a genuine feel to the album but it lacks in jaw-dropping moments. It'll slide in nicely beside the Snow Patrol record or while away some months before Coldplay start talking about a new record but there has just been too many acts peddling the some old, same old for Vega4 to mean anything to anything more than a few people.
And that's no slight on the band or their music, it's good but when there's so many choices of virtually the same product, it's hard to differentiate between them all. If the bands continually mentioned throughout this review get you stroking your chin, then get buying the Vega4 as they will be for you. If you fell asleep with the mention of the bands, then you probably won't even be reading this bit. Could the last one out please turn off the lights? Cheerzzzzzzzzzzz