Venues: Aspire
7Overall Score

Venues, Aspire
Arising Empire Records

If most of us were asked to name a German rock band, we’d probably mention Rammstein. Maybe The Scorpions. Then we’d start to struggle. Expect that all to change RIGHT NOW. Venues are the country’s best new band. Not that their nationality even matters. Aspire is an album which will speak to everyone. It’s about being alive. And if you’re reading this, then that almost certainly means being alive is an experience you can relate to.

With a riff reminiscent of Bullet For My Valentine’s Tears Don’t Fall kicking things off, Aspire explodes with a force that’s bound to get you bouncing around your bedroom like an over-caffeinated kangaroo. And key to the band’s success are the dual vocals from Nyves Krithinidou and Robin Baumann. Too often, female-fronted outfits get compared to Paramore, but the growling Baumann ensures that Venues transcend such lazy labelling.

One thing’s for sure, Paramore would never have recorded Dilemma. It’s a heavy rock song more akin to Flyleaf’s output than anything created within the pop-punk/emo scene. Not that Aspire is without its poppy moments. But flimsier tracks such as Lights are the ones we feel less compelled by. Venues are at their best when they’re at their weightiest. Lyrically, that’s as true as it is musically. The humanity we referenced earlier is core to the sextet’s appeal and lyrics such as ‘Don’t stop until you’re proud of what you are’ (Star Children) and ‘So strong but still so fragile’ (Shades of Memory) are indicative of a band who know how we feel.

As first records go, then, this is one worth exploring. Listen to the escalating The Epilogue and you’ll feel like you can smash through any ceilings others might try to hem you in with. And then there’s Ignite, which promises that ‘This won’t be the end.’ Not for the band’s hopes and dreams. And not for ours.

Aspire by Venues is out right now.