VAZ CONFIRMS BEYOND A SHADOWY DOUBT
I could not be more excited to get a chance to see Vaz again. Thundering drums, pulverizing riffs, and an overall feeling that can best be described as "spooky" lays the groundwork for Vaz's gloomy yet relentless songs. Vaz have been around for a while, rising from the smoldering ashes of Fargo's untouchable Hammerhead, and have released several criminally underrated records. "Demonstrations in Micronesia" leaves me feeling like I have finally come across a human settlement after spending the last month trudging through the arctic tundra only to discover that the encampment is actually a remote forensic laboratory full of frozen corpses in varying states of decay. Yup.
Sometime back in 1999 I made my way down to the Black Cat in Washington, DC for a Melvins/Melt Banana show. I got there a little late cause I really didn't care to see whoever the opening band was ("Vaz? Never heard of them, next!"), though I managed to catch the last five songs. I still regret that dumbshit move to this day - walking in there I immediately felt like I was in the greatest melding of a haunted house and punk show ever. And there was something so familiar about the way that guy played drums - holy shit, these are the dudes from HAMMERHEAD!!! It was a few years later that I got the chance to redeem my mistake when, while living in Richmond, VA, I got a call from a friend after I had already gone to bed. "Dude, don't you like that band Vaz? They just showed up at the PRC (defunct anarchist bookstore) - apparently the show they had booked fell through and no one had even heard about it anyway. They're gonna play in a few minutes!" Buttoning my shirt as I flew down the streets on my bike, I made it just in time for Vaz to melt the faces off of the ten or so folks that stayed around. While it was probably a pretty shitty situation from their perspective, that was one of the best shows I have ever been to.
After seeing them for yourselves, I'm sure you'll agree.