Vendetta Love turned it up and let it out for their EP ‘I AM’

Vendetta Love

I Am, is the latest collection of songs by Irish rockers Vendetta Love. Last year they showed the world what they had to offer with their debut EP Speak Now. It featured no-nonsense rock but with an impressive lyrical depth. This winning combination resulted in outstanding moments such as “Witches & Thieves” and “Lost”. After the EPs release, Shawn Mullen (vocals/guitars), Darren Flynn (drums/percussion), Neil McEvoy (bass/backing Vocals) and Chris Craig (guitar) wasted no time working on their next offering. They used the time during the pandemic to work on new material that would show they had a lot more to offer. 

The guys are excited about what they created with I Am. Mullen says, “I don’t really think there’s an overall concept that ties the EP together in terms of making a statement or anything. Again, it’s just the four of us in a room turning everything up and letting everything out. Lyrically, there are definitely threads that run through all the songs, but they all come from different places. We got the title from one of the tracks on the EP, ‘I Am‘. We all gravitated towards that more or less unanimously. It’s like a headspace. What are you? I Am this. It could be anything to anybody at any given time, y’know. It’s also like a response to our last release, ‘Speak Now…’. “Speak Now…”, “I Am”. We’re speaking now to anyone and everyone who will listen”.

The EP opens up with “Hush Hush”. It’s a favourite of Flynn, and when you hear his drumming, you can understand why. It’s an opening track that’s not messing about. Not only does everyone in the band sound fantastic, but the lyrical depth and storytelling are outstanding. The band begin with a gentle grungy vibe with the opening lines, “Broken minds for the taken / Swallow the road that ends in vague / Canvassed dreams from the ether / Smile to the mirror he makes believe”. All delivered to perfection by Mullen. It does not take long before the music bursts into action while maintaining its moody tone. The drums and guitars (especially the solos) are as captivating as the story unfolds. An excellent choice to begin this release. 

Next is “Ode”, the second song the band ever wrote. They say, “It’s just a simple rock n roll song about filthy gigs and meeting people”. As soon as you press play, it comes at you like a wild animal as the band brings the noise. Mullen’s vocals offer an impressive range. Especially as he powers out the hook, “Follow the neon sign / Down the line / Where all the gypsies ride / On electric lights”. However, it is his grungy delivery of  “1, 2, 3 Don’t / Take me down / I am floating / Above the sound / Too high to leave / Reaching out / To touch the ceiling I see / Mirrored eyes / Looking back at me” that stands out the most. It just outshines the killer guitar solo that follows.

The mood slows down a little for “Chains n’ All”, but not by much. As much as they all sound great to deliver another thunderous soundtrack, this one is about the vocals. It’s clear to hear why Mullen loves to sing this one. He is effortless in the story’s execution. “It’s about being pissed at living under a thumb, be that a person, a stigma or a government institution. Trying to kinda live around it, but eventually accepting that you just gotta get your friends together and get the fuck out”. It is a superb track that showcases another side of Vendetta Love.

Each track on ‘I Am’ offers something different by Vendetta Love. However, each one delivers the same high quality of sound and lyrical depth. An EP not to be missed!

Now to the longest and my personal favourite from the EP, “Walk Alone”. It begins with a much softer mood compared to those before it. A tone reflected in the delivery of the opening lines, “On these city streets I / Wait, I walk alone / Wrapped in rags on corners / Soaking to the bone”. It is the start of some honest lyrics about exploring “the relationship between desolation and desperate hope through the medium of substance abuse. Not having anywhere to go that you can call your safe place and the tiny little hole in the ceiling where light comes through. But you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to reach it or not. All you have to do is look around you anytime you walk almost anywhere in Ireland. People are not happy and are not thriving”.

There is so much soul within the lyrics, and its sound has a personal element. It adds a compelling quality that makes you pay attention to every moment of the song. Especially with lines such as, “Disease has cradled my soul / Since I was a little child / I’m the nobody’s son / In a long, long line”. The delivery of every word is impressive, with so much honest emotion. It is an element used to make the hook, “Help me now / Or forever disown me I / I want out”, stand out so much. However, the band as a whole also deserve respect. They bounce off each other to create an equally powerful soundtrack that mirrors the mood.

Closing out the ep is the title track, “I am”. It is another no-nonsense rock song filled with a compelling rawness about it. Maybe, this is because they haven’t altered it from the first time they wrote it. It may not stand out as much as the others, but there is something about this one that makes you come back for more. As the EP ends, it makes you wish it was a bit longer. It is a sign of great music. So, if you love grungy rock with captivating lyrics, then I Am by Vendetta Love is the release for you.

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