Some albums don't immediately capture my attention, often because the band is working so hard to show off its collective chops or simply to sound fresh that the character of the final product becomes buried in ambition. Persistence pays off, though, when it comes to the relatively new Tucson band Van Gogh Rescue.
The foursome has been playing out for a little more than a year and now unleashes its debut album, which contains catchy songs, some quality hooks, an impassioned attack and zooming, complex arrangements. You just have to give it a couple of extra spins.
In its least-compelling moments, the band comes a little too close to the bloated excesses of Queensrÿche and Porcupine Tree. But sometimes, Van Gogh Rescue's thorny song structures sound like the art-pop of Adrian Belew-era of King Crimson, which is nothing to sneeze at. More often, this group invokes Incubus with its loud-quiet dynamics, its prog-rock leanings and B.J. Bunting's introspective lyrics and croon-to-a-wail singing. Also a good thing.
"Where the Blood Is From" flirts with the expansive sound of latter-period Faith No More; "Talk Is Cheap" is a disarming take on the chunky blues metal of Jimi Hendrix; "Fall So Well" is modestly funky; and "Farewell" benefits from dramatic rising action. Also, in less than two minutes, "The Calm" hints at what the band could do as a minimalist post-rock ensemble.