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The VSS was a post-hardcore band formed in early 1995. They rose from the smoldering ashes of Angel Hair, and for two and a half years became a passionate punk-styled hybrid megaphone for social critique. They invented a fierce, highly unconventional sound unlike that of any other contemporary band. Theirs was a maelstrom of hard punk energy comprised of dissonant guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. While there’s nothing all that unique anymore about an indie rock band mixing in a little electronics, there was something breathtakingly original about The VSS — essentially a hardcore punk band — incorporating these elements. The result was something organic and angry and intensely human, but it was laced with a sharp, robotic edge.

During their brief lifespan, The VSS released four seven-inches (three of which were compiled in 1996 on a CD from GSL) and one full album. “Cosmic Retribution” comes from their third and final Gravity Records seven-inch, while “In Miniature” comes from the 12-inch, Nervous Circuits, on Honey Bear Records (reissued May 20, 2008 as a deluxe package with bonus DVD and extra tracks via Hydra Head Records). On all of their releases The VSS effortlessly overstep the boundaries of all traditional rock formats (and that includes punk rock), producing one explosive sonic exorcism after another. Singer Sonny Kay moans severely cryptic and poetic lyrics that are the aural equivalent of a Jackson Pollock piece painted with blood. Fans of all things punk and manic should immediately immerse their virgin ears in this treatment.


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