At five songs in just over 20 minutes, the debut EP from Columbus, OH's the Vincents is a fast-paced romp through rock & roll 101. With rowdy guitars that tend toward dark keys and equally dark lyrics (e.g., "There's no true art/ It's all just business"), the Vincents expertly manage to avoid the pointless middle-class angst that overwhelms so much of this type of music. Drawing influences from acts like Jawbox, the Ex, the Jesus Lizard, and perhaps some sort of '70s metal/guitar rock, the Vincents are a tight outfit, though they seem to have been a little overwhelmed by their first trip into a studio. Having gotten a little carried away with shiny studio tricks, the album suffers, as songs that are strong in a bare-bones live setting, namely the album-opener "Freak Out," all but suffocate under the weight of frivolous vocal effects and the occasional interesting, but out of place, theremin. At their best on fast songs, the Vincents really shine on numbers like "Mainstream" and "Solution," though Eric Mahoney's vocals (at times reminiscent of Guy Picciotto and even Henry Rollins) are a little low in the mix on the latter. With a raspy voice Scott McCloud would have to double his smoking habit to replicate, Mahoney proves to be one of the Columbus scene's most energetic, powerful, and charismatic frontmen (and none too soon: the New Bomb Turks' Eric Davidson can't go unchallenged forever), and the Vincents as a whole are an impressive band. Hopefully the band has become comfortable enough with the recording process not to hide behind effects and instead showcase the uber-testosterone rock & roll attack that makes them such an interesting live act.
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AllMusic Review by Karen E. Graves