Sights & Sounds
Static Era Records
Blending musical genres can be risky. But No Virtue, the second album from Sights & Sounds, successfully attacks the senses with a mesh of melodic heaviness, rock and electronica. The Canadian quartet is led by Andrew Neufeld, best known as the lead singer of the hardcore, Comeback Kid. While No Virtue has its loud moments, by no means is the album heavy metal music.
Released Oct. 11, 2019, No Virtue is layered with a keys-driven ambiance allowing Neufeld to largely set aside the harsh, guttural snarls and bring out a bit of breathy swagger. The singer is more subdued on the first single, “Resurface,” a solid hybrid of dark rock and synth. The track is danceable and more likely to be heard at a rave than a mosh pit.
Intentional or not, there is a resemblance, or maybe influence of Greg Dulli’s output, while No Virtue often plays like the Twilight Singers at the band’s fiercest. One can hear the similar torment on the uptempo standout, “Black Mamba,” which has a speedy buildup to its bellowed and powerful chorus: “I’m making up for all the times that I gave up/And they might have to charge for all the times I went too far/When the knife carved the sign beyond the basis to unwind…”
Sights & Sounds perhaps shines brightest when the group is immersed in ethereal tones, like on “WWR,” which features trippy beats and a light saxophone. In what could be considered a ballad, “Caught Up” exhibits a slight R&B groove alongside the haunting falsetto vocals of fellow Canadian Nicole Dollanganger. Through ten songs and 40 minutes, No Virtue provides a modern and often mind-altering soundtrack about relationships, anger and redemption which can purge or amplify a dark mood.
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Justin Smulison is a professional content writer and producer whose first love is music. Smulison’s digital and print copywriting experience spans music, law, true crime, advertising and real estate, among other subjects. You can often find JS in Long Beach, New York, either running on the boardwalk or in the sand with his family.