Review: "Brilliant Violence" by VSTRS

"Brilliant Violence" by VSTRS is a grungy psychedelic trance with an equally trippy visual collage accompaniment.

The song begins with a bold 30 seconds of feedback - classic. Next come the grungy chords, and then a lead guitar and tom-heavy beat droning with the confidence of Alice in Chains.

A soft vocal delivery enters, describing a search for truth among some sort of reflective echo chamber.

I've been talking into mirrors
things are not as they appear
now it's time to stop pretending

The bass is playful, filling out space in the instrumental breaks. In general, there's a really full production with wide panning. It's lush, but each part comes through clearly.

A bold triplet tom fill propels the song into a chorus of sorts; "had to let it go." Loving the slow acoustic strum on the downbeat entering this section; it's a simple touch but adds a lot.

Had to let it go employs a darker chord change, and ends in a nearly post-punk rapidly picked bass line. This resolves into a drone sounding like Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Sludgy offbeat toms, crisp production, 70s psych vibes, catchy guitar riffs, and interesting turns in and out of minor modes; The sonic combination on "Brilliant Violence" is delicious.

The accompanying music video complements the otherworldliness well. It's a barrage of found footage,  ink textures, kaleidoscopic colors, driving through the snow, faces of people on the streets, and more from two short experimental films from the 60s.

A strong first encounter with VSTRS.

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Detroit quintet VSTRS recently released their second LP - Pandemonium Seesaw.

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