Young Regret

Vine House

Independent release, 2008

REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


The jangle and thrum of twin guitars against the rumble and crash of a 4/4 backbeat.  Harmony vocals punching up the sing-along choruses.  Quick, stabbing solos, expansive flourishes and crescendos, total sweaty commitment to each and every song.  This is power pop, musical territory that’s been inhabited by some legendary bands over time: Big Star, the Replacements, Gin Blossoms, Superdrag and the list goes on.

Vine House is a vehicle for the songs of singer-songwriter Mark Stancato, late of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 New York modern rock band Exit 8.  Stancato’s new outfit includes Rob Kudyba on lead guitar/vocals and Matt Patterson on drums/vocals, and they clearly share his love of classicist guitar bands from the Beatles to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to the Clash.

Old-school drumstick taps count in the beginning of kick-off cut “Killer On The Road,” whose early verses have a kind of Buddy Holly feel, a stuttering rockabilly cadence that bursts into full-throated rock and roll at the choruses.  The sweet jangle-rock melody and layered vocals of “Young Regret” take you back beyond Big Star et al to the band they all grew up on, the Byrds.  “Coffee Break” amps the energy higher yet with a number that feels like a less fatalistic Gin Blossoms rave-up.

Stancato’s lyrics chronicle everyday observations interrupted by flashes of insight, mostly autobiographical tunes about gaining control over your own life and overcoming obstacles both external and self-imposed.  Fairly introspective stuff for a band whose sound is this big and bouncy and rich, but then again, the Blossoms have made it work for 15 years.

Favorite moments from the remainder of this 11-track debut include the foot-tapping, air-guitaring opening of “Rosalie,” the beautiful solo that lights up the steady-building “Mrs. Wallington,” and the reckless, thundering melodic drive of the Clash-worthy “End Of The Line.”  Anthemic closer “She Walked Right In” falls into cliché at the chorus, but the music still packs a tasty punch.

Young Regret is an album that gains impact with each listen, but whose appeal remains essentially visceral -- drums and guitars and harmonies ringing out for the greater glory of rock and roll.  You could try to complicate that equation, or you could just let the raw impact speak for itself.  Vine House tries to have it both ways, and mostly succeeds.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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