"Caught On Film"

(Synesthesia 2003)Venue - Caught On Film

Monotone, repetitive and sounds like the late 70s/early 80s. In many cases, those are the worst words you could use to describe a band or their music. But in the case of Chicago's Venue, it couldn't be any farther from criticism. For the band's new EP, "Caught On Film," it describes catchy and danceable electronic music that will appeal to even those who aren't into the club scene.

The catchy "Moving to NY" opens the EP with lots of drum fills and electronic blips and buzzes. With a cool hook and electronically processed vocals, think Kraftwerk's "The Robots," "Posh Rehabilitation" keeps the tempo where "Moving to NY" left off and steps backwards in time. On "Suckers," Venue tone down the rhythmic end, somewhat, and add a twinkling background of pulses. Falling back to be Kraftwerk-like on "Papercuts," Venue uses pounding thumps with a melodic tune overtop and the processed vocals. The electronic lullaby "Zzz" is a low hum, pulse with short distorted groans.

Lyrically, the EP speaks of hedonism in a frank, unexcited way. With "Posh Rehabilitation," vocalist Chris May admits "Oh yes I love my addiction/I meant to tell you it's true" while on "Suckers" he repeatedly accuses "Maybe you're just suckers for the ride/Hanging with your lovers of tonight." While the EP isn't chock full of lyrics, the ones that are there tend to be repeated enough to make you remember them. But the lyrics become less important as the EP progresses, becoming essentially extinct by the time the final track rolls around.

Although a little reminiscent in some respects, "Caught On Film" has some memorable songs that are sure to get stuck in your head. Venue show lots of promise by creating something new but still recreating something old at the same time. "Caught On Film" proves that they can create some real gems and surround them with no-fail classic sounds for a well rounded recording.


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