[sic] Magazine

Vee Device – Love Will Tear Us To Shreds: Act II – The Genre Of Silence

In 2007, Colorado’s Vee Device embarked on the first part of an ambitious trilogy based around the Russian author Isaac Babel, who – I’m told – was famous for his Red Cavalry set of short stories in the early part of the 20th Century. A somewhat meandering folk album, the second part duly arrives and offers similar obscure material which defines the term “cult”. That said, it’s a strangely likeable release which sounds like a stage play or musical that we know will never get commissioned.

Due to the somewhat rambling nature of the record, it’s difficult to recommend a way into it for the casual listener. Nevertheless, the standout moment undoubtedly occurs on the second track ‘Decembrist’s Wife’, in which Nancy Seiters lends her beautiful aching tones to the tale of Babel’s long-suffering wife Elayna. Unfortunately this is her only vocal appearance on the record whilst another guest singer Era S also provides a spirited turn for ‘Engineering Will Only Bring You Pain’. Not that Vee himself (playing the part of Babel) is a poor frontman by any means, he just lacks the ability to tingle the spine.

‘The Genre Of Silence’ is nominally folk music but deviates wildly in pace and song structure. All nine minutes of ‘The Infernal Scene’ are a case in point; the track even ends with an instrumental extract from well-known opera piece ‘Nessun Dorma’. ‘Pasternak, The Hypochondriac’, meanwhile is a somewhat random piece for strings.

With so many ideas and an interesting tale to tell, Vee Device’s main achievement is to condense this part of the story into forty minutes. The good news for anyone with the stamina to last the journey is that the final act in the trilogy is due later in 2009, enticingly subtitled ‘Eradication Of The Russian Olive’.



More of Jon’s Reviews can be found at his blog, Leonards Lair