Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Von - 3nity

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.  

9 out of 10 stars 

Joshua Stryde

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