The Vendettas – The Vendettas III (2021)

I am on record as saying The Vendettas are my current favourite Aussie band.  It needs no justification, it’s just my opinion.  With that said, their latest album goes leaps and bounds towards cementing my opinion. 

Every single note on “The Vendettas III” is played and sung with such passion and feeling that even the most staunch non believers would have to pay attention to this record.  

I doubt there are any non believers out there anyway… 

“III” opens super strong with “Face to Face”.  A simple riff and some pounding drums carry us towards the body of the track, and when we reach it, it’s a bonafide rock ‘n’ roll anthem – very much suited to the bands energetic live show.  

“Slingin’ Mud” is up next.  This was the first single, released an absolute lifetime ago.  It’s another great rocking number, but I won’t dwell on it too much, considering there is a single review on this very site.  

The next few tracks scale things back a bit.  “Believe You Know”, “Guardians”, “Sold You Out” and “Only the Wicked” are all great tracks, with far less emphasis placed on the ballsy rock guitars.  Instead all are very much vocal tracks, giving Steve Reddens voice room to be the focal point.  There is still expertly crafted music behind that voice though, and these handful of tracks feature some of the most soulful guitar work of the record. 

“Stoned Ape” opens with a simplistic guitar riff, before launching itself back in to anthemic territory.  There are verses that will have you bopping your head, but it’s in the massive bombastic choruses that this track is fully fleshed out.  Stop yourself from singing along if you can…

The infectious nature of “Stoned Ape” carries through to “Dang Bird”, which is overflowing with melody – overall not as good as its predecessor, but still right up there.  “High As A Jet” on the other hand, had me from the moment it began.  A bold sounding drum intro, followed by a killer riff, and then launching in to slide guitar.  That’s just the first minute of the song.  It settles right down though, and becomes a highlight of the album, through the marvellous guitar solos, and Reddens voice again. 

“Rats on the Wheel” is another single (released as a 7inch vinyl through Rue Morgue Records!), and speaking from experience, it is a highlight of The Vendettas current live set.  

Bass guitar opens up “Flesh and Bone” and it just gets better from there.  Possibly my favourite set of lyrics are present here, plus there’s the chugging guitars, precision percussion – the list goes on.  I just love how good all of these songs are!

“What Have You Done” is the album closer.  It opens with some atmospheric noise under an echoing guitar melody.  This is almost like The Vendettas Pink Floyd moment – surely they had to be an influence on this track, it has a David Gilmour feel all over it.  Feel is the operative word here too – the track is absolutely overflowing with passion and feeling.  It’s also seven and a half minutes long, so it’s epic, and a brilliant way to see this record out.

I can’t speak highly enough of The Vendettas.  Go see them live, buy their records and support them.  They should be played on the likes of Triple M on an hourly basis, but without our proper support that wont happen.  

10/10

Shayne McGowan. 

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