Courtesy: Epidemic Records/Backbite Records
Indie rock artist Gab De La Vega released his latest album last month. The record, Between Space and Time, was released Jan. 24 through Epidemic Records and has spawned two singles – ‘YYZ’ and ‘Perfect Texture’ – so far. While both singles are positives representatives for the 11-song record, they are not its only notable compositions. ‘Phoenix From The Flames,’ the album’s opener, is notable in its own right, and will be addressed shortly. ‘Bomb Inside My Head’ is another key addition to De La Vega’s new record, and will be addressed a little later. The same can be said of ‘Something’s Not Okay,’ which will also be addressed later. All three songs are prime examples in their own right of what makes Between Space and Time a positive new offering from De La Vega. When they are considered with the album’s current singles and the rest of the album’s offerings, the record in whole proves to be a candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new independent albums.
Gab De La Vega’s latest full-length studio recording Between Space and Time – his third album – is a work that is certain to appeal to his current fan base as well as to fans of the indie music realm. That is due to the record’s combined musical and lyrical content. That combined content serves to make many of its entries stand out, not the least of which is the album’s opener ‘Phoenix From The Flames.’ The song’s musical arrangement lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Pearl Jam. That is at least the case in the ears and mind of this critic with the combination of De La Vega’s vocal delivery style and the instrumentation. The upbeat arrangement does an impressive job of illustrating the song’s positive lyrical content, which comes across as a statement about overcoming great odds.
The seeming statement about self-confidence and overcoming life’s negative forces is presented throughout, beginning with the song’s lead verse, in which De La Vega sings, “I feel the cracking of my bones/In my mouth, I taste my own blood/Spit and kicks from everywhere/no way to escape.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Vultures circling in the sky/Monsters of another kind/They laugh and feed on my pain/Feasting on disdain.” These two verses put out there, all of those negative forces, obviously all of which are used in metaphorical sense. He responds to those negative forces in the song’s chorus, singing, “Hit me again/If you need someone to blame/It’s gonna ease your pain/That’s OK/I don’t care/And I/I will rise again/Phoenix from the flames.” De La Vega leaves little to not doubt as to the subject matter at this point. The song’s subject is addressing all the negative forces out there that no matter what they do, he will overcome those forces and what they can cause, emotionally and mentally speaking. It is a good metaphorical way to take on a familiar lyrical topic. When it is coupled with the song’s catchy musical arrangement, the whole of the work makes clear why this work is just as important to the whole of BSAT as the record’s current singles and the rest of its entries. It is just one of the album’s most notable entries. ‘Bomb Inside My Head’ is another of the record’s most important additions.
The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Bomb Inside My Head’ is just as comparable to works from Pearl Jam as the album’s opener, if not even more so. That is evident in the semi-acoustic approach to the arrangement and De La Vega’s vocal delivery style. As a matter of fact, if one were to listen to this and not know it was him, one might even think this was a Peal Jam song, as De La Vega sounds so much like Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder. What’s just as important to note here is that as much as the song is comparable to works from Pearl Jam, the song’s arrangement still boasts its own unique identity. That adds its own amount of appeal for listeners. The song’s upbeat arrangement doe an impressive job of illustrating the equally upbeat feeling in the song’s lyrical content.
De La Vega sings in the song’s lead verse, “There’s a bomb inside my head/You gotta be a little crazy/To be sane in this world of fear/There’s a bomb inside my head/It’s gonna explode and paint this city all colors – What a great idea.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “There’s a bomb inside my head/Suddenly it’s all crystal clear/There’s a bomb inside my head/It’s either give in to apathy or start a revolution right here.” Just as with the album’s opener, De La Vega leaves little doubt as to the concept here. This is someone who is inspired to do something with his life, rather than let life, and everything and everyone around him get him down. This is inferred even more through the song’s chorus, in which he sings, “Today’s all mine/’Cause tomorrow doesn’t look like/I’m completely out of control/’Cause I’m so tired/Of being let down/It’s over now.” Yet again, this is clearly someone looking for that proverbial silver lining in life, rather than the gray skies. This is someone who is motivated to live life the best that he can. It is a message that is certain to resonate with plenty of listeners, especially when it is considered along with the song’s musical content. When the two elements are considered together, they make fully visible (and audible) why ‘Bomb Inside My Head’ is another important addition to BSAT. It is not the last of the album’s most notable songs. ‘Something’s Not Okay’ is yet another key entry in this latest album from De La Vega.
‘Something’s Not Okay’ is a unique work in part because of its own musical arrangement. While the other songs addressed here boast comparisons to works from Pearl Jam, this song’s arrangement could not be any farther from that comparison. If anything, it lends itself – lightly – to some of Green Day’s works from early in its life. That comparison is made through the song’s combined guitars, drums and vocals. Somehow, De La Vega manages here, to sounds like Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong, while the guitar, bass and drums add to that comparison with their collective garage/pop-punk sound. That arrangement alone makes for more than enough reason for audiences to taken in this song. What is interesting to note here is that once again, much time and thought was put into the arrangement, as it also works expertly with the emotional vibe of the song’s lyrical content. That vibe in question, is one of urgency and concern.
The sense of urgency and concern is built as De La Vega sings in the song’s lead verse, “We spend more time in traffic/Than with the people that we love/We complain about being lonely/We’re the reason we’re cut off/So disgustingly obedient/Even when we should say something’s not okay/We don’t say a word about injustice/But we get angry for the game/And the people who live worse lives/Are the ones we solely blame/Being defined by eight hours out of twenty-four/And we cannot see that’s not okay.” That sense of concern and urgency is heightened even more as he sings in the song’s second verse, “We put chains around our necks/And we built cages to enslave/Every single piece of nature/That we need to dominate/We always know someone’s responsible/For all that’s wrong/We never take the blame/We try to meet high expectations/Slaves to everyone but ourselves/We keep buying things that won’t last/Spending money we don’t have/A dystopic universe – is this 1984 all over again?/Still we blankly stare at the fall/Hypnotized – As if the fire and flames were forging a future without hope.” Once more, little to no doubt is left as to this song’s lyrical concept. De La Vega infers throughout this content that we as a people need to make sure where our priorities lay. This is a message that we all need to be reminded of every now and then. In being reminded of that importance of knowing where our priorities are, this content is certain to connect with many listeners. Noting again, the song’s musical arrangement, when that content is coupled with this concept, the whole of the two items works very well together, showing in full why it is yet another important addition to De La Vega’s new album. When the song is considered along with the other two compositions noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the record in whole proves to be a positive offering from the indie singer-songwriter.
Gab De La Vega’s third full-length studio recording Between Space and Time is a work that will appeal just as much to his longtime fans as it will those who might be less familiar with his catalog. That is proven both through the record’s musical and lyrical content. All three of the songs noted here serve to support these statements. When the songs in question are considered along with the album’s current singles and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the album proves itself a work that proves itself worthy of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new independent albums. Between Space and Time is available now through Epidemic Records. More information on the album is available online along with all of De La Vega’s latest news and more at:
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