Two years after introducing themselves with their debut single, punk supergroup Vanishing Life seal the deal with Surveillance, their first long-player. A collaborative effort from punk/hardcore luminaries Walter Schreifels (Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits), Zach Blair (Rise Against), Jamie Miller (Bad Religion, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead), and Autry Fulbright (…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Midnight Masses), Vanishing Life conjure a surprisingly cohesive and vigorous LP from what was most likely a nightmare of logistics and coordination. Born out of a meeting at a Belgian punk festival, the four members eventually streamlined their energy into this new project which bears the assets of each player while pulling off the desired effect of achieving something fresh. Recorded by Suedehead's Davey Warsop and mixed by bandmember Miller, Surveillance is a robust record made to be played loudly. Opening volley "Realist" is a five-minute post-punk powerhouse, raging with attitude and stout riffs. Another standout, "Thinking Is Weightless," ripples with power and intensity under Schreifel's barbed vocal attack. Citing touchstones like Black Flag, the Damned, and the Fall, Vanishing Life demonstrate muscle and power above all, offering only a pair of brief ambient instrumental cuts -- titled "16" and "17" -- to act as breathers from the otherwise tireless, guitar-driven onslaught. For a group whose members are spread far and wide geographically, not to mention busy with their own principal projects, they've funneled a great deal of stamina and confidence into these 13 tracks, making for an impressive debut.
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger