Vex Red – Liverpool University Stanley Theatre

Now listen here.  Vex Red could well be the future.  Forget the brand-named nu-metal producer, the Vex will be arguably Britain’s biggest American rock success since Bush, although you people on this side of the pond will love them as well.  Debut single ‘Itch’ and the refrain of “you're not Jesus, you're not God” in ‘Clone Jesus’ will satisfy the authority/establishment detesting adolescent in all of us.  Tonight, they're almost unerringly passionate; Ross Robinson’s tight-grip on their sound producing a slick fluidity many seasoned bands could learn from.  Frontman Terry Abbott’s soaring voice rasps against the evil guitars, who in turn battle alongside the synth bass and break-beats which fit mischievously between ‘fashion accessory’ and ‘overwrought existentialism’, stopping appropriately at ‘absolutely vital’. The wizard on the samples also spins out one or two true gems – “I can't smile without a reason”.  Indeed, it will be ‘Can’t Smile’ that makes Vex Red the uber-monster RockGods they've been told they will be, and that's in spite, partly because of the Christina Aguilera cover at its climax.  If you like the idea of a Pearl Jam LP after a swift talking to by the Chemical Brothers, then you will be buying Vex Red's album when it is released, fittingly on Valentines Day next year, because you will have fallen in love with them.  OK?  Right then, about time to start taking down those crusty old Silverchair posters, yes?

Collen Chandler