The Voidz save rock in “Virtue” album

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Kaylee Aguilar

Rock band The Voidz recently came back with a new album by the name of Virtue on March 30. The album provides songs of various rock styles while conveying meaningful lyrics and incorporating different aspects of music.

Andrés Bear, Staff Writer

In a world of hysteria and hyper-amplified emotions, clarity is hard to obtain. The lake of wisdom has been permanently muddied by culture, the Internet and everything in between. Julian Casablancas and his band, The Voidz, surface the black tar found at the bottom of that lake.

 

Virtue

 

The Voidz formed in 2013, under Cult Records. Due to the label being Julian’s own, the band was given freedom to experiment and push boundaries. In fact, that’s just what it did on its debut record, “Tyranny”.

 

On March 30, The Voidz released “Virtue” on Cult Records. With three music videos to back its presentation up and an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the band went sought after a bigger audience for this release.

 

As Casablancas stated in a Rolling Stone podcast interview, “[Virtue] is a record that is still forward-thinking, but that maybe a more mainstream, bigger audience will love as much as we love the first record.”

 

The album starts off in a sound that is extremely akin to the early discography of The Strokes. “Leave It In My Dreams” paints a warm beach with tis serene beach and garage rock blend. Being the first track, It would make sense if the following tracks had similar motifs. That, however, is disproven once the second and third tracks come around.

 

Kaylee Aguilar
“Leave it in my Dreams” – The Voidz (Cover Art)

 

Political lyrics wash the two songs, leaving a bleak and immediate message. “QYURRYUS” has Casablancas putting on the shoes of an immigrant being sent back to his home country. Clearly present in the song and accompanying music video is an Arabian sound. The earworm of a genre finds its way into the instrumental pallete of the song. “Pyramid of Bones” deals with the issues caucasian groups have placed on indigenous peoples due to the idea of the white man’s burden.

 

“Permanent High School” is my favorite track off the album. Casablancas sings about the qualms present in high schoolers and their lasting effect. A powerful chorus carries the song into a transdencing moment of sound and lyricism. The track contains a bit of each amazing stride the album hits. Its theme rings true in the following lyrics:

 

Hiding what we want to do

Smart people will learn from fools

Life is like a hurricane

Crosswords on the asteroid game

Depressed and stressed and oppressed

Lies are simple, truth complex

Snakes with venom

Ones with none

Ones who bite you just for fun

 

The following three tracks delve themselves into the many styles of rock. Drums leave the listener amazed by their precision and friendship with Casablancas’s vocals. The highlight of the three is “All Wordz Are Made Up”, which introduces elements of funk and psychedelic music to the fray. With a vibrant music video, the song manages to create a whole universe within itself.

 

In a sense, the dreary “Think Before You Drink” splits the album in half. All of the proceeding tracks are more rhythmic and self-contained. The album does hit a noticeable lull in tracks like “Pink Ocean” and “Black Hole”. Both songs are stylistically different, yet their repetitive nature is quite similar.

 

The last major high-point of the album, before the amazing closer, is “Lazy Boy”. If a song were to drag you into the sound and ambience of The Voidz, “Lazy Boy” would pull you by the hair. Complex Drum syncopation, high school-tinged lyrics and psych rock elements craft a tight, melodic piece.

 

“Right off the bat, during the first five seconds of the song, any fan of alternative indie is already sold,” said Coppell High School sophomore Alex Moino, who is in the CHS band. “At around one minute in, you really do feel immersed by the simple bass line and catchy melody. The greatest part of this song would be the final cadential point. It’s where the song really leaves you hanging, longing for more despite a relatively consistent melody (and chorus that doesn’t stray too far from home).”

 

Few tracks off of “Virtue” feel like they could fit in “Tyranny”, The band’s debut record. In a meaningful fashion “Pointlessness”, the closer, is reminiscent of the sprawling 10 minute track “Human Sadness” which marked the middle of “Tyranny”. To fans of the album, “Pointlessness” feels like the spiritual successor both in sound and spirit.

 

Kaylee Aguilar
“Tyranny” – The Voidz (Cover Art)

 

The album winds down to a crawl with sad keys, crooning vocals and dire lyrics leading the charge against nothing. When it comes to music, humans feel the need to connect with what they are listening to. Even the most bland chart toppers of today appeal to the human need for connection, for understanding. The Voidz is no exception.

 

Follow Andrés @_andresbear