Last friday The Voidz, featuring Julian Casablancas of the Strokes on lead vocals, released their second studio album and it is insanely awesome.
The new album, Virtue, is similar to their first album, Tyranny, in the sense that every song has its own unique style, incorporating everything from jazz to folk to punk rock. In contrast to Tyranny, Virtue seems to be much more up beat and positive for the most part, where Tyranny was heavy and in your face.
The Voidz (formerly known as Julian Casablancas and the Voidz) have really evolved and grown closer as a band. This is pretty evident when you compare their first album and live performances to their current material, you can really tell they have pushed this band to the top of their priorities, it’s no longer just a side project. The band released this video to explain how Casablancas officially became one of the Voidz.
Our first taste of Virtue came back in October with their live performance of “Wink” on Brazilian talk show, The Noite. That performance was exciting because it showed that they were progressing with their style, and it showed that they had practiced more as well, giving a flawless performance; live shows for the Tyranny album didn’t quite live up to the studio version. For this latest album the band has been doing many more performances on live television.
Casablancas has continued with his technique of blending his vocals into the music, making the lyrics difficult to decipher, however with a handful of songs on Virtue his lyrics are perfectly understandable, like in my personal favorite off the album, “Permanent Highscool”, which begins with the phrase, “if i told you the truth it would be a lie.”
Another one of my favorites off the album is titled “One of the Ones” which begins with a low and heavy riff and Julian’s distorted vocals, then he brings it up a couple octaves for the chorus, then the song breaks it down and switches to a funky and laid back jazz sound only to fall back into the heaviness from the beginning.
The track “Think Before You Drink” is unlike anything else on the album. It’s very stripped down compared to the other songs, its more of a folk song, Julian’s lyrics are very clear and his voice is accompanied by an acoustic guitar. It was definitely an interesting change to see on the album, it really shows how versatile this band is.
Overall it is very exciting to see this band really mature as musicians and build upon what they’ve learned from the past album and individual experiences to tighten up their act and song writing, as well as their ability to execute such complex songs in a live setting.
I have listened to the latest album non-stop since it released, it is probably my favorite album ever. That’s not even an exaggeration. When I’m an old man and my grandchildren come up to me and ask me to play some music from my youth, you better believe Virtue by the Voidz will be the first on my list, and they’ll say “you’re really weird, grandpa.”