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The Vrbs

The Vrbs are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Formed in late 2019, the band got its start when former Audiobender bandmates Jared Richard (guitars, vocals) and Paul Cingolani (bass) joined forces with former Weapon Eleven drummer Jeff Ham. Together, the band makes the type of music that will have you swooning in no time. Their sound is a mixture of '90s vibes with a modern twist, featuring powerful vocals and guitars that dive into alt and power pop, as well as some grunge appeal. I really couldn't get enough of their high-powered performances. And it's not just that they sound a lot like Sugarcult and other greats like Nirvana and Pearl Jam; it's also their ability to blend different genres into one great all-around sound. The Vrbs are releasing their self-titled album, "The VRBs," and it's a two-disc extravaganza. There's a lot to cover, so let's dive in!

Disc one starts out with "Take Me Home," where a wall of radioactive guitars sets a great vibe. Other instruments join in, and I have to say, the energy is really great. Richard's vocals here sound dynamic, and I'm loving the '90s flavors. I'm also immediately getting Sugar Cult vibes. There's a touch of power pop here, as well as some alt vibes that I think are really happening. Some jaunty drums kick off the vibes on "New Drug." Then, bold flavors from the bass and guitar enter the mix. I love how energetic the music is. The band really doesn't hold back here. I can tell they're giving it their all, and I'm loving every moment of it. The band reminds me of Cold War Kids here. More jaunty beats arrive at the start of "Scream For Me." The bass produces a rumbling sound, and sparse guitar riffs sound out for a moving display of sounds. After a long introduction, the combined vocal harmonies sound really compelling. This reminds me a lot of System Of A Down. Stripped-back guitar riffs sound out on "Under The Sea." The sound meanders for a sauntering vibe. The music sounds lovely and dream-like. Richard's vocals are soft and soothing here. This is a total 180 from the band, and I think this track is a nice change of pace from the previous tracks. Next, the dreamy vibes change into something more fully charged.

Disc two starts out with "Gravity," where industrial-sounding synths and guitars come in for a heavy vibe. I'm getting a more aggressive atmosphere here. On this track, the band experiments with a more hard rock appeal. I think this is a nice change of pace from the power pop ambience. I'm getting more grunge and hard rock vibes, which bring to mind bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Settling into a sauntering vibe, the instrumentals meander for a bit on "Do You Remember?" As the sound builds and builds, there's a slow-burning vibe to the music, which I think is great. Richard's vocals come in, and there's more of that slow-burning vibe that I noticed earlier. I also notice that the band likes to change the tempo on this song, going for a fast-slow dynamic every once in a while. This certainly keeps listeners on their toes. The vibe on "Run" sounds a lot like spaghetti western. I'm reminded of Tarantino here. I love the cinematic approach. I can envision a standoff between the sheriff and an outlaw as tumbleweeds blow by. Richard's low rumbling vocals help clinch this.

Lastly, on “Down The Mountain,” some sparse finger-picking on the electric guitar comes in here. Next, some drum beats enter for a more driven vibe. The track starts out sauntering, and the tune meanders for a bit. I thought there was a ton of mood and feeling here. This proved to be an ambient grunge track. The band chooses to close with this atmospheric closer. With a recording time of around one hour and eight minutes, The VRBs manage to cover a lot of ground. They can easily transition from high-energy to pensive at the drop of a hat, showcasing their range. The energy on this album never drops, which demonstrates the band's stamina and great momentum. The first disc is more power pop, and while I loved their sound there, the second disc has a more grunge and hard rock vibe, which I also think is great and showcases the band's range. All in all, the band is fearless, and I love their bold sound. From beginning to end, this is a great record worthy of multiple listens!

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