One song makes Vendetta Red's album

Vendetta Red 'Between the Never and the Now'Epic Records

Vendetta Reds major label debut, "Between the Never and the Now," is an incredibly well produced, polished album with something for everyone. In other words, the band is trying way too hard.

They're like a record company's dream. They have model good looks, the lead singer, Zach Davidson, looks like Justin Guarin's punk rock loving, identical twin (who would've thought two people could have that hairstyle?). Depending on the song, they could be classified as grunge, emo, or nu-metal, and they seem very eager to please.

That said, it's hard not to like this album, or at least one or two songs on it, and even though their record company probably has more control of Vendetta Red than they let on, they do seem a lot more credible than the recent tidal wave of boy bands thinly disguised with guitars and spiky hair.

Despite a few bright moments "Between the Never and the Now" mostly stays on the safe side of the radio spectrum. Each song consists of the typical, pop-rock ingredients for success: depressing, "woe is me" lyrics in the verse that eventually give way to a huge, sing-along chorus that somehow suggests that the singer is over his sadness, back and better than ever -- down but not out. Of course, by the time the verse comes again its back to self-pity.


Throw in the occasional scream, and there's every song on this CD. Although the screaming throws in that touch of emotion that suggests the band has gone through some kind of horrible trauma, it gets old quick. Davidson screams far too loud and far too long for his own good. It's annoying. So annoying, in fact, that anyone who hears it will want to reach into the headphones, grab Davidson by his long, golden locks and set them afire. However, this would just cause more screaming, so scratch that.

Although occasionally clever, most of the time it seems that he just scours his dictionary for the least known words with the most amount of syllables.

Typical line: "In fiscal flight from the ravenous cavernous orifice asphyxiated form/ Washed in wolves blood sterile and pantomimed parting in parts the trial of the worm." No wonder Davidson is so depressed, no one has any idea of what he's talking about.

Despite everything that's wrong/annoying/fake about this band, they almost completely redeem themselves with "Shatterday." The album's single and easily best song will fool thousands into buying this album hoping for more of the same. Sadly, no other song comes even close. The song actually makes sense; it's obviously about trying at something but failing in the end, but its vague enough (probably on purpose) so the listener can apply it to any situation in their personal life. It has MTV's "Total Request Live" written all over it: "Carson, I voted for 'Shatterday' because I've gone through the same thing, and I just cant get it out of my head!"

"Shatterday" is an anthem in the truest sense of the word, complete with an actual sing-along by what sounds like the entire country. It's that big, a near-perfect song.

Vendetta Red will be all over the place in the upcoming months, and they should be, thanks to "Shatterday." But after that, they should retreat to the land of one-hit wonders before their new, "hard-core" fans figure them out for what they really are: a ticked off boy band. "Between the Never and the Now" gets five stars, four for "Shatterday," and one for the rest of album. (5 stars out of 5).

Luke Slisz is a senior at John Marshall High School. To respond to reviews in Sound &; Vision, call 252-1111, category TEEN (8336); write Teen Beat, Post-Bulletin, P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903-6118 or send e-mail to

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