Melted Vinyl newest EP Lights We Chase
Melted Vinyl continue their rejuvenation of classic rock with their newest EP Lights We Chase.
It would be easy, and lazy, to compare California’s Melted Vinyl to their obvious forebearers in the classic rock genre. It would also be extremely unfair to the band. The unique confluence of talent that is Melted Vinyl doesn’t reinvent the wheel as far as their chosen genre is concerned, but it does infuse it with some much needed authenticity, maturity, and energy. Lights We Chase, their follow up to their eponymous debut, showcases the band branching out and delving a little deeper thematically and compositionally into their music. Clocking in at 26 minutes and 58 seconds, Melted Vinyl’s second EP is just about 3 minutes longer than their debut, but it feels much longer. That’s a good thing. When the music breathes as deeply as it does here, time slows down and the experience of each song expands and becomes a rejuvenating experience, not only for the listener, but for the genre itself.
“Beyond” is the EP’s opening track, and it sets the stage for the entire album as singer Wolfgang King expounds upon the dread he feels towards the “day he will walk down that old foggy road” into the titular beyond. The metaphor is obvious, but definitely not disparaging. The song’s happy opening guitar lines create an atmosphere of joy and almost mystical wonder. Again, it would be easy to compare “Beyond” to any given pseudo-mystical Zeppelin song or theme. “Beyond” needs not be compared to anything though. It stands well enough on its own merits as an introspective, yet uplifting rock song. It opens the album beautifully and powerfully.
“Who Am I?” is a little more sober in tone. Again though, the great guitar lines, composed and played by Melted Vinyl’s lead guitarist Alex Bender, place the atmosphere of the song in more joyous territory than the lyrics would at first suggest. It’s the very next track, which is my personal favorite off the album, “Dionysus” that most begs the Zeppelin comparisons, and a legitimate argument for such a comparison can be made, but again as Alex himself explained, the song is so much more than a Zeppelin retread. In response to my question on the band’s writing process he elaborated on it using “Dionysus”:
For example, the track, “Dionysus,” resulted from wanting to have a single riff that repeats for the majority of the song, a la John Lee Hooker. It effectually becomes part of the track’s identity and this riff has a real menacing groove to it that, paired with the mystique of the lyrics, draws you in and gives the song some power. The middle section of “Dionysus,” however, shows how the band went beyond the initial idea and explored and developed the number into something even greater.
The thick sludgy riff the powers “Dionysus” is indeed the type of riff that could continue on repeated without variation and never lose its appeal. The fact that the band wasn’t content to sit on that particular laurel though reveals something special about Melted Vinyl. The band truly looks to challenge itself and strive to be more than just inspired riff rock. The band takes the same approach with “Queen of My Soul.” Another blues inspired track, “Queen of My Soul” sports a powerful driving riff, that morphs into more than just another tired classic rock riff. Throughout the song, the riff serves as touchstone theme that in turn blooms and wilts as the song and the lyrics require. That type of restraint tempered by pure energetic outbursts speaks of a songwriting maturity that promises that Melted Vinyl will continue to contribute something new and worthwhile to a genre that is entering its sixth decade.
Check out Melted Vinyl on Spotify.