Music Review – Vows “Winters Grave”

Vows band members are:

Sabeel Azam – lead guitar, backup vocals

Scott Soffer – bass

Ryan Ward – Drums, percussion, backup vocals

Jeff Pupa – Vocals, guitar

James Hencken – Keyboards, synths

Vows - Winters Grave

Vows – “Winter’s Grave”

Formed January 2011, and hail from Neshanic, New Jersey, Vows have released their first record, Winter’s Grave, on Bandcamp.com and will be releasing the physical cd soon.  And this album makes me realize how hard it is to put music down on paper in the form of a review.

Winter’s Grave is a Dream pop collection of beautifully haunting songs that are wonderfully composed without being overdone.  Some of the songs contain elements that remind me of the Beatles via Sgt. Peppers with that classic 60s Brit pop feel to it, such as “Unreal Love” and “Born a Wolf”, with the shuffling drums and a rich variety of instruments.  Others have a mellow, soothing personality which I found most welcome recently due to a series of very serious headaches (I was able to push the pain down some by meditating on the music).

The cd opens with “A Mile from the Road” lullaby like with a keyboard and haunting vocals, and is followed by “Parallel”, which  is clearly my favorite song of the record, similar to a less complex Radiohead, circa The Bends.   My second favorite, “Queen Baby”is a beautiful string heavy slow number that reminds me of a echo laden “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan, while it reminds my wife of “Sven – G – Englar” by Sigur Ros off the “Vanilla Sky” soundtrack.  The song “Winter’s Grave” is another example of music writing reserved for bands with more experience together because of the intricacies in construction of the song.

I have played this for several friends and have gotten interesting reactions.  My wife, who is a die hard Band of Horses fan, was impressed it the album, and a friend stated that this record would be prefect for driving long stretches of highway in North or South Dakota.  Vows’ Winter’s Grave is a delight to zone out, take a long drive, or reminisce to of past passions and lovers.

Check out the record here on bandcamp, and is available for purchase here.

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