The Von has come a long way since their
2013 formation. The band, led by vocalist/bassist Luis Bonilla, has logged
appearances at the SXSW Festival in a showcase slot and made numerous national
appearances. Their South Florida home base remains their core geographic area
of strength, but The Von are clearly ready for much bigger stages in far flung
locales. Any doubt of that should be completely dismissed after a listen to
their three song mini-masterpiece 3nity. This explodes on the promise of their
debut release Ei8ht without losing a single degree from the heated spark giving
birth to their initial emergence in the music community. It might seem easy, at
first listen, to categorize The Von, but each additional listen reveals a
wealth of influences informing their music to a certain degree.
The band’s pop inclinations certainly
come through on “I Know It’s Love”. The Von are consistently strong songwriters
with melodic hooks being one of their stocks in trade. This song is a particularly
excellent example of the raw, crackling energy a power trio can generate
bringing their talents as rock musicians together with their melodic instincts.
The fierce rock and roll side of this song is largely pushed ahead by the
thumping rhythm section of Bonilla and drummer Elisa Seda while guitarist Marek
Schneider freely moves back and forth from explosive flares of rock guitar and
lively melodic fills. They opt for a groove centered approach on “Nature of the
Beast” with further coloring from Schneider’s guitar playing. Bonilla’s voice
is capable of surprising sweetness within this electrical storm, but he moves
away from that characteristic on this track and instead invests his voice with
a great of spit and fire. Their indulgences with well-known lyrical stapes,
beginning in this case with the song title, shouldn’t hamper a listener’s
enthusiasm for the song. Instead, The Von brings them back to full, vivid life
by using them in new contexts and unexpected ways.
“My Love Machine” ends 3nity emphatically
with a wide-screen epic confined to a relatively small space. Unlike other
bands, The Von seem resolutely focused on keeping their songwriting on point
and avoiding all of the musical extravagances of so many contemporaries. Even
on this final song, there’s no towering Schneider solo that goes on too long,
but nothing feels rushed. They develop the song at just the right pace and, by
its conclusion, it is clear why they chose this particular track to close 3nity
out. This makes most EP’s sound paltry. The Von do more in these three songs
than many rock bands pull off in ten and it certainly leaves you clamoring for
more. Bands like this are in increasingly short supply. The aforementioned
reasons set them apart from many, but it’s the overall intelligence driving
this project that remains in prime, inescapable strength. They may traffic in a
popular art form, but The Von’s intentions are far removed from the trival.
3nity reaches for the stars and grabs every one of them.