What point is there to a song without a melody? It seems that more and more people just fall upon a good riff but then forget about the whole structure of the rest of the track. Not Vega though. With ‘Grit Your Teeth’ the band have returned with a more muscular sound but no less full to the brim with melodies that will grab you from the first note to the last.
Masterful opener ‘Blind’ kicks things off in grand style, rocking hard and soaring to great heights. Nick Workman’s vocals have matured over time and have grown and grown in stature from the band’s great early work to the outstanding levels they reach now. In fact, the whole band have never sounded better and there’s an urgency and excitement here that previous recordings have only really scratched the surface of as they capture the kinetic spirit of their live shows.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yATYqArH0ok&w=560&h=315]
The twin guitars of Marcus Thurston and Michael Kew tear things up and the formers hard and swift solo on the song punches like Tyson Fury. ‘(I Don’t Need) Perfection’ and ‘Grit Your Teeth’ are the sort of arena filling rockers that Def Leppard have built their career on and are equally as good as anything Jo Elliot and Co have done for the past few years.
Things turn more bluesy on ‘Man On A Mission’ with Tom Martin laying down the rock-solid bass as ‘new boy’ Martin Hutchinson brings a groove to his drums as they thunder away whilst Martin’s brother James adds some real colour on the keys as it rolls along.
Don’t Fool Yourself’ is one of the heaviest things the band have done and shows their development as they continue to stretch themselves into areas that they’ve only really touched on before. Another switch with the Tears For Fears ‘Mad World’ style chorus of the huge melodic softer rock of ‘Consequence of Having A Heart’, the song not stinting on the passion and features more of the gritty guitar work of Thurston in the solo.
‘This One’s For You’ is another strident track and is absolutely addictive, followed swiftly by the multi-faceted and mid paced ‘Battles Ain’t A War’ that builds layer upon layer of power.
The album continues the huge quality as it serves up a hat trick of crackers to close in the form of the widescreen ‘Save Me From Myself’, the joyous ‘How We Live’ and finally the massive ‘Done With Me’ that manages to grab all that’s best in the American rock music scene of the last forty years and fit it into a tight three minute blast. Like a supercar firing on all cylinders, Vega are unstoppable.
Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM