Album Title: 
Into The Woodz
Release Date: 
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Review Type: 

We recently got sent the second release of Belgium's own “Alternative Rock” quartet Vodz, and our editor-in-chief thought of me to review the little gem...at an unfortunate moment in time where my access to Internet is somewhat limited to an absolute minimum, meaning I cannot do do the slightest bit of research for additional info. So, it's with some regret that I can only re-write the info given me along with the material into something which reads easily.

The band, which is composed of lead singer/ guitarist Koen, second guitarist Bart, bassist David, and drummer Dirk (I found no family names, dudes!), and hails from “the deep South of Flanders, Belgium”, has been around for a while already, and in 2013 the guys turned loose their debut release in the form of the 7-tracked EP The Road. This garnered rather positive reviews, with music magazine Out Of Step stating, “Vodz is, in my humble opinion, another well hidden pearl from the Belgium underground waiting to get picked up by the masses...”. Music zine Riff Raff printed a review of a show with the words (originally in Dutch, and therefore translated here for your convenience), “...with a sound somewhere between Rock, Cash and 16 Horsepower, Vodz knew how to intrigue yours truly...there's more in Vodz, and with the talent present, the road is still wide open...” (wondering...would “Cash” mean Johnny, perhaps?).

Not being acquainted with the band's first release, I have no idea whether there's been evolution in the band's sound, which is currently described as carrying echoes of Joy Division, Queens Of The Stone Age, and 16 Horsepower (from the info sheet that came along with the physical copy of the album), but indeed the songs (which were recorded in 4 days during April of 2014 by one Willy Tits, whom also mixed the material and co-produced along with the band; he's also responsible for additional piano and some vocals) have (again using the well-chosen words from the same info sheets, you know, but re-writing it to my own impressions nevertheless) an astranging and dark atmosphere, which is however compellingly attractive in its catchiness. Upon the rock-steady rhythm section comes a layered guitar wall-of-sound, which is somewhat subdued to allow the overall calmer vocals to come out better. Odd ones, those vocals, and a major part of what typifies the band's sound overall! I don't exactly hear any of the typically Stoner influences which one would expect from a reference to QOTSA, but perhaps other influences are meant (oh wait...Yeah...listen to the more energetic “Remember”, okay?)?

Besides 8 original songs, the band also gives us their own version of a couple of “traditionals”, these being “Sinnerman” (which I'm sure I've heard in other versions before, I just cannot put my finger on it!) and “Ain't No Grave” (I'm quite certain of Johnny Cash did that once, and therefore my previous conjecture of him being involved – see previous paragraph – comes out – come to think of it...didn't he also bring his own version of “Sinnerman” once?). Put everything together, and you've got yourselves a “somewhat different” kind of Rock band, well worth the attention of those music fans who're on a constant look-out for bands with a sound that's out-of-the-norm, bands seeking their path away from the beaten track of the Mainstream!

I have no idea what material might be posted at either (http://) vodz.be, (www.) facebook.com/vodz1, or at (http://) beta.vi.be/vodz, but if you the above descriprions and references spoke to your fantasy, then by all means check this band out. Reality might just be even prettier than your wildest fantasies, you know!?