vee device

Out of the Darkness is one of a kind -- an acoustic-folk concept album about the power-grid failure in the Northeast last year. (Why on earth a group from Fort Collins would feel compelled to tackle such a topic is a bigger mystery than the blackout itself.) In the end, the four players in vee -- Sam Ernst, G-Man (Grant Gordy), Deej (Daniel Johnson) and Dre (Andrea Vitullo) -- aren't quite able to turn their idiosyncratic notion into a cogent narrative, but they score marks for sheer oversized ambition.

The playing is first-rate throughout, and instrumental cuts such as "The Hours, They Seem an Eternity" and a disorderly collage dubbed "As the Lights Go, So Too Do We" radiate atmosphere. The lyrics of several tracks intrigue as well, including "The Dream," a fantasia that incorporates Alanis Morissette and Bell Biv DeVoe, and a song that's called "Winston Churchill" for reasons too complicated to relate. Other cuts, like "Sing Me to Sleep," are more straightforward -- and less interesting as a result.

There's no telling what all of this means, but the sparks provided by vee device occasionally light up the Darkness.


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