On 10th November, Melbourne heavy band Void Of Vision both announced and released their new EP Disturbia. Disturbia is a follow up to their 2016 released album Children Of Chrome. Void Of Vision are Jack Bergin (vocals), James McKendrick (guitar), Mitch Fairlie (guitar) and George Pfaendner (drums).
By way of the EP’s title, frontman Jack Bergin shared “Over the past year, I haven’t really been in a place which I could call ‘home’. I’d found myself lost numerous times and had to revisit a lot of dark places I never wanted to reflect back upon to do so. The term ‘Disturbia’ is coined as the dark side of a neighbourhood, a place I became all too familiar with.”
Disturbia was produced by the band with Drew Fulk (of Motionless In White). The EP also had support from label mates Sam Bassal of Ocean Grove and Jonathon Deiley of Northlane.
Disturbia kicks off with a face slap of a track. “Spite” comes at us heavily and with intensity. It’s relentless confrontation and a statement of “Look what you’ve done to you and I”. In its one and a half minutes time length, “Spite” is waves of aggression with a certain someone being dealt a brutal serve.
“This is not the way it goes, now that you’re on your own”
A very satisfying riff is how the second track (and single) “Ghost In The Machine” starts. It’s a dark drawing down into honesty, with admissions of demons that have tried to be hidden.
With a expansive ethereal sound (wear headphones!) and writhing guitar work, we’re drenched in a layer of uncomfortable self-reflection. Numbing has been the go-to, but now things that have been recognised about the self can’t be unseen.
“I will always be my own third degree
I’m fucking dead inside, and no one can see”
Soaring clean vocals spark the impression of wishing there was another way, and wishing they were different. But breakdowns pull us back down into inevitable heaviness of reality while the screamed vocals spill ache onto the track.
Another thing to note about “Ghost In The Machine” is that the music video both starts and ends with Jack listening to the partial reciting of a poem (“Man of Words and Not of Deeds”) on a cassette tape. The poem’s sentiment echoes the sense of numbed nothingness felt within, as does the song title; going through the motions of life without truly living. The video and sound of “Ghost In The Machine” as a complete package packs a punch as a wake-up call.
The cassette tape theme shows up again, with the sound effect used as we move into “You Will Bring Me Down”. Given that this third track seems to be about a relationship that’s gone sour, rewinding and/or erasing the entire thing seems like a fitting metaphor.
It’s another heavy track and the introduction establishes a vibe of having to face something daunting on the horizon. The virtually spat out vocals, and raw riff going into the chorus echoes the distaste for this person in their life; what sounds like a soon-to-be ex-lover.
“I’d die for what I believe
But you’ll never believe in me”
Even the clean chorus of “You Will Bring Me Down” feels like ‘enough!’. It’s become so bad that the dissolution of the relationship will be ‘so damn easy’. The two of them having a hard time has (now) been recognised as unhelpful to him; in the way he felt unseen, unsupported and unable to heal. The toxic pairing left him stuck, and he’s ending it for his own sanity.
Alone at last, reflected by a shift into isolated clean vocals, there’s a lighter beat before a soaring conclusion reflecting the greater potential he has on his own. This is how you do a satisfying ending to a song.
“Grey Area” is the last on Disturbia. It starts with a growling and creepy droning sound, before dropping into my favourite section of the entire EP; high energy and high intensity from drums and guitars, while somehow still sounding effortless. Thankfully “Grey Area” continues this vibe through the track, making it a firm favourite of the EP for me.
“Grey Area” presents a connection/relationship and dissects the wounds they other has inflicted, right in front of them. The vibe is ‘You’re going to watch what you’ve done to me’; punishment via raw honesty in their face.
“Pushed aside, cut the ties, kept away but kept in mind
Speak your spite, ignore mine, I’m left thrown by the wayside”
The massiveness of the chorus courtesy of layers of sound feels like a brilliant confrontational slice of revenge toward someone who feigned care but was self-focused instead.
By way of the four tracks of Disturbia, in Jack’s words, “There is no particular theme for the EP, this was really for an experience I wanted myself to have, seeking the hopeful relief of facing my own demons. In the most unselfish way possible, I wrote this EP for myself, because I needed to.”
Void Of Vision have done an impressive job of keeping intensity high and messages sincere through the entire of Disturbia. “You Will Bring Me Down” as a ‘softer’ more anthemic track is perfectly placed in an intensity ‘sandwich’. Flowing transitions between the tracks gave a cohesion even if there was no linking theme according to Jack, and made the entire listen of Disturbia engaging and an enjoyable ‘wow’ of a ride.
Get your hands on Disturbia: https://unfd.lnk.to/DisturbiaEP
Or stream via Spotify:
Thoughtful, honest, raw and intense. Addictive riffs asking for repeat listens. Unified feel across the EP.
Some unexpected 'wow' moments would have made this very good EP even better.