Venus Infers want to make it big—and that goes for their sound and their career. Their latest release, Venus Infers . . . (the white album), which is actually a six-song EP, bellows ambition in blazing, garish colors. It treads a fine line between luster and bluster.
With the departure of vocalist Trisha Smith, Venus Infers now consist of primary songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Davis Fetter, drummer Steve Wilmot, bassist Brent Kutzle (since replaced by Richard Marion) and guitarist Elliot Richardson (who produced this disc). In place of Smith's leetle-gurl vox, Fetter delivers intense passion, requisite brashness and adequate range, if not any quality that distinguishes him from hundreds of other young, white rock singers currently spraying saliva on mics.
Musically, Venus Infers predominantly tailor their songs to reach the folks in the nosebleed seats at hockey arenas—where they will one day open for the Strokes and/or Kings of Leon, if all goes according to plan. "London's Raining" instantly offers Venus Infers' mission statement: It's grandiose rock with romantic, dramatic sweep, made for couples in love to swoon to. Being unattached now, I have trouble warming to its sugary glockenspiel and chest-puffing, chiming guitar riffs. But that's my problem. What sounds like children singing behind everything, however, is Venus Infers' problem. The stratospheric "(I Never) Been Here Before" similarly goes for those aforementioned arena back rows. The swooping chorus includes one of many Fetter "woe-oh-ooohhh ooohhhh"s appearing on (the white album). This vocal tic should be used more sparingly. The EP's highlight is the brash, stampeding rock of "You Can't Scare Me at All," its ostensible roughness polished and compressed for commercial radio.
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Love for Venus Infers has attacked Indie 103.1, and the band has placed music on MTV shows The Real World and Road Rules, with goals to license more of it on prime-time U.S., British and Canadian TV programs. Don't bet against Venus Infers succeeding in this regard.
Venus Infers perform with Melee, Matt White and Until June at the Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.theglasshouse.us. Sun., 7 p.m. $10-$12.
Attention Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, along with your vital contact info and a decent high-resolution photo (plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly,1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or just be lazy and e-mail your MySpace link to firstname.lastname@example.org.