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Concrete Web

Vert
Accepting Denial
Casket - Copro
PHD

Vert was formed late 2002 in the Midlands area of Wolverhampton & Telford, where the band soon did a set of early gigs as support to The Blueprint , Million Dead , and The Fatal Mistake , mixed with some headline gigs at the local clubs. These gigs apparently injected a much needed shot of adrenalin in the previously waning scene, and sowed the seeds for a loyal and ever growing fanbase.

During 2003, the band (a quartet currently composed of singer Steve Brand , guitarist Andy Walker , bassist Andy Dorsett , and drummer Matt Stubbs ) rehearsed a lot and released 2 demo-EPs. Although the material was still formative, the EPs got the band their first Underground press coverage with positive recurring comparisons to such big-shots as Incubus and Lostprophets . This, and the rapidly growing reputation in the Midlands, soon landed the guys an endorsement deal with clothing company GoodVsEvil , and an acoustic live set on a Wolverhampton based radio station. The band then set on an 8-date headlining UK tour, which also marked the breaking in of their then new drummer Gaz Ayres . The band followed this up with support gigs with The Ga Ga's & Tokyo Dragons , got invited to play again at the annual Erocktion festival, and maintained a position in the local “toilet circuit”, before playing support to the likes of Enter Shikari and Severed State , and bringing an explosive show at Islington's Virtual Festival , and being invited to the release party of Lockjaw signed band Have A Go Hero . Somewhere in between, they also recorded their 3 rd EP No Retreat, No Surrender .

Summer 2005 saw the band touring with I-Def-I and Profane , doin' a packed support performance with Pop Punkers Caffeine , and scattered shows throughout the Midlands (which came in an increasing regularity and equally increasing attendance).

With the year 2006 still young, the band first did a couple of profile supports for Devil Sold His Soul , Mendeed , and Skindred , before entering the MCC Studios in Cheshire to record their debut full-length with producer Andy Giblin (who'd worked with I-Def-I , Profane , and Kill-2-This & Slipknot live). Early mixes of the songs got club play at Wolverhampton and Manchester clubs and met with positive dancefloor reactions, and a sneak preview of new track “Skin” took hunderds of playbacks on the band's myspace spot within hours of being put online. The band then followed this up with live outings with (among others) Skindred , Dub Trio , Forever Never , InMe , Twin Zero , Outcryfire , and Capdown . Right after getting in cont(r )act with Casket/ Copro for the official UK release of their album, the boys shot a video for the album's title track in collaboration with upcoming director Adam Van Schaick , video which is set for nationwide airplay to accompany the album's release.

Somewhere along the line, drummer Gaz Ayres was replaced by Matt Stubbs . The material now...because that's what everything is really about, right...is a melodic Hard Rock geared Post-Emocore with a tremendous amount of groove and catchieness in the guitar, and also with a certain degree of repetition which brings in an hypnotic effect. To enhance the groove factor, the bass was put rather in front of the mix, thus adding a “lead” factor to that instrument. What with the drummer bringing an unfallible and versatile foundation, the rhythm section enables the guitarist to bring his play in perfection. On top, you get a vocalist who will sing emotionally clean at one moment, and then scream his head off to follow that up, while being backed at the appropriate spots as well. Increasing the emotional side of things comes with a bit of piano play (no credits for that mentioned) during the intro of “Feeling”, and the acoustic guitar intro (actually more than half of the song) of “My Desolation” . The band also show an “experimental” side to themselves with the album closing ”Whisper” , which first fades out into (100 seconds) silence after 1 ½ minutes' worth of instrumental, to return for an additional 6 minutes of hypnotic instrumental freak-out!

Nice album, and the perfect showcase for the (deserved) successes the band's been reapin' until now! Try to catch some of the band's tunes from either their website (vertonline.co.uk) or myspace spot to convince yourself .

90/100

Tony

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