On the heels of their much-hyped performances at South by Southwest (QRO preview), Los Angeles’ own Voxhaul Broadcast triumphantly returned from Austin and released their heavily anticipated debut full-length Timing is Everything. They celebrated their March 22nd release with an in-store concert and signing at Amoeba Records in Hollywood.
"The Strokes have a record coming out today too. They’ll probably beat us," said Voxhaul Broadcast frontman David Dennis to a crowd of eager onlookers. That might be the case, and while Voxhaul share a vintage rock and roll aesthetic and a penchant for punctuated guitar rhythms with the New York quartet, The Strokes belong to the previous decade, now a nostalgia act for early-thirties hipsters. Voxhaul Broadcast, on the other hand, seem poised to take the 2010s by storm and make themselves one of the seminal bands of the coming years.
In short, Voxhaul Broadcast’s CD release lived up to the hype. Some bands play shows as advertisements for their album, and while Timing Is Everything is an entertaining record, it should best be seen as an advertisement for their live show. Voxhaul is known to write and record their songs live and while their songwriting is competent, the sheer bombastic force of their live sound is what sets them apart from their peers.
From the first notes of Voxhaul’s opening number, the infectious "Blackout", it was apparent that they are arena-ready. Fuzzed-out bass, reverberating guitars and interposing keyboard strikes formed the backdrop for David Dennis’s howling tenor. Other highlights included the punk rock sing-along "Cheetah" and thumping blues of the Zeppelin-esque "Loose Chains". It was easy to hear echoes of prior Silverlake darlings The Silversun Pickups (QRO album review) in Voxhaul Broadcast’s sound, however Voxhaul is more steeped in the tradition of blues and soul. This sound matched with Dennis’ swagger-at one point he placed his guitar feedbacking against his vox AC30 amplifier while he screamed into his microphone while the crowd cheered-make it easy to see why Voxhaul have been receiving hype from the likes of KCRW, The L.A. Times and the Huffington Post.
Voxhaul’s live show would easily satisfy fans of The Black Keys (QRO album review), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (QRO live review) and The Walkmen (QRO live review), while Dennis’ charisma and the band’s impeccable musicianship hint at that ‘mass-appeal’ factor. Voxhaul has the potential to become one of those rare bands – like U2 and Oasis before them – that’s a household name while still garnering critical acclaim. Catch Voxhaul Broadcast in the clubs now, while you still can. A huge sound like theirs was never meant for small venues.