Venus Fly Trap - past and present
Alex Novak, John Novak, Tony Booker, Chris Evans, Dave Freak, Curtis, John Luccibello, Nigel Jones, Nathan Bundy, Andy Denton, Brian Ansell, Gary Lennon, Alex Ward, Neil Ridley, Matt Felce & Simon Alexander
Producers and Engineers
Kevin Haskins, Pat Fish, Howard Turner, Norscq, Martin Bowes, D'anton, Paul Cox, Dom Read-Jones & Vft
Thatched Cottage (Uk), Raven (Uk), Sdh (France), Outrider (Uk), Far Heath (Uk), Hansahaus (Germany), Cage (Uk), Villers Wood (Uk), Hot Rock (Uk)
Review - Metamorphosis 1987 - 2007
Northampton-based alternative outfit Venus Fly Trap make very accessible Goth music. No, it’s not that simple, but it is a good starting point. These blokes from Northampton have been around since the late 80s creating a solid reputation through quality live performances and a back-catalogue of dark-yet addictive music.
‘Morphine’ opens the album and the deep and soulful vocals work well with stabbing punk guitars and a strong militaristic beat to set the tone for an album that is the definition of Goth-punk with more than a slight commercial appeal. This stuff is real cyberpunk and it blends elements of electronica and rock to showcase the true skill and talent within this at times overlooked cult act.
‘Desolation Railway’ comes off strong with hard Industrial beats. It’s like Ministry meets The Cramps, with some interesting samples thrown in. This is a proper Goth dance-stomper and a definite standout that will catch you off-guard with some epic guitars and infectious chanting.
‘Rocket USA’ is a similarly grand amalgamation of genres. Seriously, there are some nifty elements of blues, funk, rock and electro packed in here. Without setting out to be so; 'Rocket...' is a pretty uplifting tune and it should have you breaking out your air guitar and repeating the chorus. Undeniably catchy and very hard-hitting with some great saxophone elements, chaotic and edgy vocals and classic guitar work.
‘Europa’ is much heavier and comes across as an Industrial rock track with driving guitars, the ultra-heavy beat and some brash vocals. This is bleak, heavy and it demonstrates just how tight the project has become over the years in terms of performing both live and on record.
‘Achilles Heel’ by contrast is light and more dance orientated. This electro-punk anthem certainly demonstrates the variety of influences that have splashed all-over VFT’s music over the years including Goldfrapp, Nine Inch Nails and The Cure. The follow-up
‘Moscow Managerie’ is pure rock n’ roll squished into around four minutes of great musicianship, well thought-out lyrics, raw guitars and mosh-worthy beats.
‘Pulp Sister’ is a Sisters Of Mercy-baiting powerhouse that should easily slip into your ears and skulk around your brain with its intelligent guitars and glitchy electronics.
‘Metropolis’ is the defining tune on this disk, and it is a classic Industrial effort. Pummelling electronics meet with metal-styled guitars and blistering drums for a truly addictive and rock-hard track which will always be hailed as one of their best.
‘Mercury’ is next up, and this time VFT break out some dark-disco for the masses. The clever synths wind in-between electronic drums and a wash of dirty and distorted guitar noise creating a sleazy-electro-rock beast. To finish off this ‘Metamorphosis’ we have the new tracks, first off
‘Human Fly’ is a rockabilly tune that will “buzz” in your head for days. It’s based on the world from a human fly’s perspective...how can you go wrong? The final offering is
‘Gemini Lounge,’ a composition that mixes Bowie’s confident glam-style with Numan’s 80s electro-pop aesthetic for a satisfying finish to a great collection of work.
It’s good to know that VFT will be releasing a new album entitled ‘Nemesis’ soon, because for a band who have been around the scene for so long to be able to embrace the ever changing musical spectrum so well; whilst being able to maintain their own unique style is a truly rare thing nowadays.
For fans of: The Cramps, The Cult, The Sisters Of Mercy
4 out of 5 (Dom Smith, SPHERE Magazine - April 2009)