This is a review of "Insomnia EP" recorded by Vib Gyor. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2004.
Violet, Indigo, Blue: Green, Yellow, Orange, Red. The colours of a rainbow when you stand on your head.
It sometimes seems that the best new bands just appear fully formed, out of nowhere, on a rainy day in the Spring. The truth is that some bands are just a bit more talented and a bit more patient than your average victim of guitar passion. Vib Gyor seem to be in that mould.
This stuff is not hurled together. This is a monster of a demo. We have three killer songs, a real quality voice and a band with a million ideas and the nouse to make them work for a potentially big audience.
The production sounds American, the musical ideas are mostly European. You could imagine any of the epic guitar and synth bands of the last 5 years, but never confuse Vib Gyor with any one of them. Neither Doves nor Muse. Not Radiohead, definitely not Coldplay or Sigur Ros. But each of those is a relevant comparison. Vib Gyor have got a mysterious name, but they're not reaching out to the fashionistas, and they’re not slumming it with your Havens or Starsailors neither. What they have to offer seems to have a wider and longer reach.
The most obvious feature is David Fendick's exceptional voice. It takes no prisoners. Whether he's soaring around a chorus like Jeff Buckley ("Permanent Disguise") or doing the husky narrator on a verse like Chris Martin with hormones ("You Wear Me Out") he never runs out of road and never stretches to get towards a note. He hits it and holds it with enough breath and variation to stay there for the rest of the week if needed. Don’t worry, it still sounds personal, confiding and special.
Each of the three songs uses the same basic idea. The singer/guitarist is centre stage with a bursting heart and a tousled melodic gift for emotional connection. Up alongside, there's a four man band - Zane Keenan, Jonny Hooker, Jonny Mulroy and James Hepster providing a great singing orchestra of sound with big chords and deft touches of atmospheric guitar, keyboards and sundry effects. Bass and drums have the American-import richness that makes the demo sound like a "real recording". Everyone is playing music. No one is playing an instrument.
Vib Gyor. Standing the rainbow on its head. Not a bad name, then.