- 18 Visions
As far as its records go, Orange County, California's 18 Visions are just one more metallic hardcore outfit in an oversaturated market. But live and in person, 18 Visions' "fashioncore" style gives the band a definite leg up. Count on catching the group members in tight black shirts, tighter black pants, and studded white leather belts when they hit the Agora stage on Sunday. And don't miss their coifs either. Turns out two of the young rockers are professional stylists, so their hairstyles always "pull" (to borrow from their SoCal slang).
18 Visions put out a flamboyant, energetic stage show in the tradition of '80s groups like Mötley Crüe, the Cult, and Guns N' Roses. Unfortunately, their new album, appropriately titled Vanity, is a juggernaut of overzealous riffing and new (not nü ) metal conventions. The group slaps together hardcore leads and vertigo-inducing breakdowns reminiscent of Vision of Disorder, but its thundering mosh parts owe a little more to At the Gates than New York's new school. James Hart's vocal style mirrors the split personality of VOD's Tim Williams, as he divides his time between belting out throaty lead vocals and screaming like a stuck pig. Most egregious are Hart's moronic melodies, subpar lyrics like "So come trip into my garden lazy/So come trip into my garden crazy" (from "I Don't Mind"), and the songs' tendency to ramble a few minutes too long. Ah, Vanity run amok.