Music News

The VSS

This deluxe re-release of the VSS's final album probably would have benefited from some remastering, since the levels seem somewhat uneven and often flat. However, these flaws are easily ignored when compared with the fiery, churning intensity of the music presented. With Nervous Circuits, the VSS became one of the first arty hardcore bands to completely utilize keyboards — and atmospheres in general — as an instrument of musical catharsis. On "Sibling Ascending," headlong rhythms stop and spin, making you feel as though you've been through a psychedelic hurricane and are traveling through the eye, only to be inexorably drawn back into the maelstrom. This is typical of the haunting and harrowing experience of each of these songs. Included is a generous DVD selection of live shows that should cement the group's reputation as true punk pioneers.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.