Review: Wicked Vices debut EP both ‘chill’ and ‘heavy’

Fredericton band Wicked Vices found their new voice in an unconventional way: through an ad on Kijiji. Singer Kristen Vautour is now bringing the flare and range the band needed.

“She rocked our socks,” said guitarist Geoff MacDonald.

The rock-and-roll quartet brings a fun atmosphere to their debut, self-titled EP released on Jan. 31.

They started with the moniker Through The Shadows before their previous vocalist moved to Toronto, causing a brief hiatus.

The band first released a few stand-alone singles that garnered them some radio play. They announced tour dates around the East Coast which landed them in the Rising Star Competition at Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in 2017.

The band knew from past experience they needed to release new music to play more shows.

When the Wicked Vices began layering guitar tracks for their EP, they realized additional guitars were needed to give the music the proper volume.(Johnny James/AQ)

“[The singles were] pretty effective for getting us on mini-tours around New Brunswick or [going] to P.E.I. and things like that in our first year,” said MacDonald.

When the band began layering guitar tracks for their EP, they realized additional guitars were needed to give the music the proper volume, which led to the integration of their second guitarist Logan Colter.

“We realized our sound was a little thin and that we wanted to beef it up and we knew a guy [Colter], so we gave him a call,” said MacDonald.

The band narrowed the track list down from 15 songs to their best five, which, through the aid of a Music NB grant, came to life at The Recordery in Saint John. The production was led by Grand Theft Bus keyboardist and highly-touted sound engineer Brad Perry, who surpassed his duties and performed keys on the record as well.

The rock-and-roll quartet brings a fun atmosphere to their debut, self-titled EP released on Jan. 31. (Johnny James/AQ)

In the past, the band said they were used to going to the studio and recording the whole album in one day. But this time, the process was more long-term.

“We put our trust in him and once we got those mixes back it was like, ‘Wow,'” said Geoff.

Fredericton’s Marshall Studios provided the mixing and mastering for the record.

Each track of the album sinks its hooks into you and keeps you on the dance floor. Vautour’s vocals spin the wheel of emotion, cutting deep with tear-jerking sadness, cradling you in upbeat vibes and blowing your hair back with incredible notes. All set to a crisp, palatable array of instrumentals from the fuzzy guitars to the bop of the rhythm section.

“I feel like we are a pretty dynamic band. We can turn it down and do some emotional stuff or we can get really heavy and make people dance around a lot,” said MacDonald.

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