You just have to love it when the first introduction to a band comes in the shape of a heart racing, infectious and openly excited release. There has been no finer an example of this than from UK punk band The Vox Dolomites. A simple piece of fortunate timing, a lucky gaze upon a simple social network post and the gateway to one of the most exciting and excitable releases heard in a while opened. Simply called First Demo 2012, the release is a pulsating trio of tracks that urge and enthuse emotions and limbs to react and be part of their impressive blast.
From Stockport and formed in September 2011 the band bring a heady and eager punk sound that at times is spiced up with irresistible infusions of ska. They stand somewhere in between the harsher intense punk of a Rancid and the open and teasing melodic contagion of a Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Vox Dolomites also lie midway between a US and UK sound, the latter more evident when they bring in the ska spice as shown in the opening track of the demo.
Comprising of ex-members of One Man Stand, The Leif Ericsson and Spiteful Way, the band of guitarists Ant Walsh and Will Farley, bassist Chris O’Donnell (all three contributing vocals), and drummer Simon Dunnington from the off jump in with insistent hooks and insatiable melodies on ‘The Horrorshow’. Greedy choppy guitars, a boisterous bassline and wanton keys caress and stoke up the ear as the band’s irrepressible energy burns a wonderfully fulfilling groove upon the senses. The band can skank like there is no tomorrow bringing a [Spunge] feel alongside a Rancid punk touch and using it to flavour their own voracious sound.
The other two songs on the release are straighter punk gems but no less engaging. ‘Alone In Mexico’ is not exactly a sterner track than its predecessor but has a more serious tone behind further hungry riffs and sharp melodies. Another great bassline from O’Donnell this time carrying a moodier tone and an incisive razor like guitar attack from Walsh and Farley ensure the track lingers after its last note and is very easy to return to, though that applies to the whole demo to be honest.
Final track ‘Losing Hands’ ripples and flames within the ear, strong forceful riffs, commanding rhythms from Dunnington, and another bassline to drool over rage and badger whilst pleasing far beyond the ear. We are in definite Rancid territory now but The Vox Dolomites have an indefinable extra that takes them into a class of their own. Group vocals punctuate the track excellently adding thirsty energy and texture to the track.
The trio of tracks started with a vibrant party and ended in a juicy riot, three songs that inflame and light up the senses. The release is an introduction to the band and a taste for a debut album due later in the year, and without doubt the demo makes the anticipation for that keen and impatient. This is punk of the highest order and there really is no excuse not to go and get it, especially as The Vox Dolomites have it as a free download at their bandcamp profile………..Still here?