I think this is one of those cases where the album cover lends absolutely no clue to what the contents entail. When I was sent Vision Division to review, I was initially convinced that I’d been mistakenly emailed a hip-hop disco record. Both the title of the album and the band name made my eyes roll back in my head like misbehaving beyblades and certainly leans towards the preconception that the band think they’re either far cleverer or far funnier than they think they are – traits that I find about as enjoyable as a double mastectomy. With the intro round of snark over, I’d like to swallow my own shoes and say that pretty much all my preconceptions were totally wrong. Vision Division is a pleasant call-back to mid 2000’s hard rock in the vein of Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin with enough love, effort and talent to prove it’s not just cashing in on nostalgia.
Disco-Nected are a three piece self described ‘Power Rock’ act hailing from Paris. Now, most modern ‘mainstream’ rock turns me off like the arrival of a second cock at an otherwise pleasant blowjob. It’s too polished, over-produced and about as lifeless as a proposed orgy in a mortuary. With that in mind, I was pleased to discover that Vision Division is an honest and loving attempt to pump some life back into the genre.
Each track is a sing-a-long rock anthem with a fantastically catchy chorus, beautiful melodies and enough twists and turns in the songwriting to keep the listener hooked. The occasional tasteful guitar lead in the chorus of ‘Here to Stay’ and at the end of ‘Waves and Lies’ add sprinkles to the otherwise riff driven cake. ‘Waves and Lies’ is the odd one out of the five tracks, dropping the punchy riffing in favour of a clean-strung slow paced balladic posture, showcase the vocal prowess of singer Aziz Bentot as well as the calmer side of the band in general; conjuring memories of listening to ‘Never Too Late’ in my teenage years, while chunkier sections like the breakdowns in ‘The Wolf Returns’ add extra flair and dimensionality to the affair, providing clever contrast to the melodic licks and vocal passages.
However the releases old-school based strengths are also it’s downsides. The problem with producing something with all feet ankle deep in the nostalgia pie is that I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve heard it all before, no matter how the dressing or disguise. I think it’s personal preference as to how much that bothers you; I could personally overlook it due to the fact that I was enjoying it too much.
It’s been a long time since something like this has actually been able to hold my attention, and I’d love to see Disco-Nected on festival billings in the near future. It’s weirdly refreshing to hear something more old-school sounding that fills the void left by the mid-2000’s hard rock acts after they either split up, changed direction or got shit. 7