VENNART – The Demon Joke

Label: Superball Music
Release: June 22, 2015
By: Jordan Salfity
Rating: 8.5/10
Time: 42:23
Style: Progressive Rock
URL: Vennart

Mike VENNART is probably most famous for being the guitarist/singer/songwriter British band Oceansize. Oceansize had the ability to seamlessly move between a number of different styles of rock music, such as progressive rock/metal, post-rock, post-metal, space rock, experimental rock, math rock, post-hardcore, indie rock, and Shoegaze. They were heroes to music fans like myself who sought after this very particular style of music until their breakup in 2011. Since then, Oceansize fans have dreamed of a reunion, however the members have kept themselves occupied with other endeavors. Mike VENNART, for instance, has been a touring member of Biffy Clyro and formed British Theatre, an electronic duo with former Oceansize guitarist Richard “Gambler” Ingram. However, in 2015, Oceansize fans were treated to what is perhaps the closest thing to an Oceansize reunion for now, and that is a solo album by Mike VENNART titled The Demon Joke. This album sees VENNART focusing not as much on the heavier, more experimental side of Oceansize. It focuses more so on the straight-forward, pop styles of the band. That is not to say that there is not any experimentation going on. It is just in more compact and smaller doses. 255 is a beautiful song reminiscent with great vocals, lyrics, and a great droning post-rock sound that reminds me of Yes meets U2. This is cut short however, by the groovy, heavier, and darker Doubt. Infatuate, Duke Fame, and Retaliate remind me of Nine Inch Nails mixed with Queens of the Stone Age with pulsing rhythms and fuzzy bass tones. Don’t Forget The Joker and A Weight In the Hollow are great ballads that showcase Mike’s vocals. They remind me a lot of Oceansize’s last album, Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up. Operate shows a pop meets electronic sound with a catchy chorus, and Amends is an excellent and memorable closer. As a whole, this album is very enjoyable for fans of literally any style of music. Highly recommended!