A band to keep an eye on…
Review by Mark Granger
Release date: 31 March 2015
Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Viajando are what you might call a stone ‘n’ roll punk band, mainly because we all like a good label but also because they mix equal parts rock and roll, punk and stoner into their musical stew.
Counting Days starts with a song of the same name which is home to a riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on any given track by rock media darlings Royal Blood. That is to say it’s a catchy, poppy, radio-friendly beast of a thing but the howling vocals of singer/drummer Taylor A. soon puts paid to it being anything near to the feelgood hit of the year, but apart from the huge riff the song remains quite bland. ‘Nothing Is Sacred’ slows things down into stoner territory but suffers the same fate, an intro of squelching muted powerchords slowly picks up pace until we are in mid-paced shout-a-thon land.
The first real flash of brilliance comes on ‘Hell’s Pit’ which combines a classic stoner groove with a whole bunch of catchy riffs and a vocal hook that actually gets you singing along. The bass intro on ‘Rogue’ is so close to the intro to ‘Enter Sandman’ it has to be an homage otherwise it’s just ridiculous, and besides the song moves past it so quickly into a twisty turny land of riffs and atonal guitar lines that it doesn’t really matter. It’s the second song in a row to really strike gold and showcases Taylor A’s vocals much better as he ranges from throaty roars to howling melodies.
Their punkier side comes to the fore on ‘Dead Mask’, another great riff and some excellent vocals from Taylor starts the track out promisingly but the slow chorus that sounds like Nirvana on their worst day ruins the song which is a shame because the punkier bits really are great. The EP closes with ‘Sleeper’ which houses the heaviest riff on the EP and shows the band really experimenting throwing everything they’ve tried so far into one song. A good end to the EP then.
Viajando seem to be trying to do everything at once and sometimes it becomes a muddy mess like ‘Nothing Is Sacred’, other times they get the brilliance down – see the big riff on the title track or the punkier sections of ‘Dead Mask’. But at times, they succeed in doing something really special like on the excellent ‘Hell’s Pit’ and the ever changing sounds of ‘Rogue’. Counting Days may not be perfect but hey, the band are only two releases into their career and judging by what they create when they get it right you should be keeping your eye on this Charlotte three piece.
6 out of 10
- Counting Days
- Nothing is Sacred
- Hell’s Pit
- Dead Mask