It is not often that I get all emotional about a CD, but ‘The Radium’, which is the first real offering from VATA, ticks all of my box’s and more.
We open up with the haunting guitar lead of ‘Working Man’ which is a hard driving blues masterpiece that sets their stall out nicely for what is to follow.
With sublime guitar riffs and perfect fretmanship mastery provided in abundance by Virgil with Gabe supporting and moving things along perfectly on the skins, quite often throwing in runs that many metal drummers would envy, all tied together by Jack with his driving bass beats. VATA really have come along in leaps and bounds over the last year and this CD is proof positive of that fact.
It’s obvious to see that artists such as SRV and Philip Sayce are main influences in Virgils life as they come shining through at every opportunity. Tracks such as; ‘Low Down and Dirty’ and ‘Silver Giver’ (more about that later) have a good mix of Sayce and SRV feel about them, however this is not intentional, it is just a fact that they are such a massive influence on his playing that it would be extremely hard for it not to show through in some small way. Virgil has subconsciously taken the best that his icons have to offer and added his own special touch and the final result is good.
On this CD everyone will love, not like, but love one particular song, if not more, depending on your blues style preference. Mine is without question the last track of the CD ‘Silver Giver’. It is a guitar solo of monolithic proportions that just doesn’t let up. Virgils control of the fret board and understanding of what makes an awesome track is clearly demonstrated here. This is quite possibly one of the best tracks that I have ever heard and a pure unadulterated joy to witness live. What we have here is a true masterpiece!
However, if I were to be over critical of the CD I’d say that lyrically it can be a little naive in places, but that’s probable down to the fact that these lads are still quite young. I’m sure this is going to improve as they gain real life experience which will inevitably provide them with a bigger pool to draw from.
In conclusion it is not a perfect CD, but it is very damn close. I for one cannot remember any band producing and releasing such a polished CD as their first offering. It really is going to be hard to follow this one up, but knowing Virgil & the team they will give it a damn good go.