This is a band striking while the proverbial iron is hot. The Von, hailing from the South Florida area, follows up their recent debut release Ei8ht with a doozy of an EP entitled 3nity. Many of the band’s lyrical points of view are influenced by Yoga philosophy and this new release features three songs that, in significant ways, embrace the spirit of Eastern philosophy. This is a concept release, in some fashion, but it doesn’t attempt to tell an linear story. It is connected by a forward looking thematic framework presented in a raw, yet highly musical way. The lyrics have an undoubted eloquence that remains conversational throughout, yet never fails to speak to its audience with an intelligent and knowing voice. Luis Bonilla’s vocals embody that quality beautifully.
“I Know It’s Love” brilliantly highlights their melodic strengths. Bonilla engages that side of their talents first with his well-rendered vocals opening the track and largely shorn of any instrumental support at that point. However, when the full band comes charging in behind his voice, the effect is quite impressive and Bonilla is clearly undaunted by the challenge. His consistent and confident vocals on the band’s debut, if anything, have grown even more comfortable and confident. He explores a variety of tones throughout all three songs and never hesitates on challenging both the strength and subtlety of his vocal chords. Guitarist Marek Schneider has a very forceful, in your face sound, but never overplays a single passage. All three members are dialed into the song’s emotional and performance needs.
“Nature of the Beast” shares much of the same template as the first song, but varies wildly in other key aspects. The band is much more concentrated on establishing a massive groove here and expends seemingly no effort to do so. They fall into it naturally and it never deviates. The lyrical content shares the earlier discussed attributes – it speaks to its subject directly and with no fuss, but yet choose every word perfectly and makes a profound point. The rhythm section stands out musically, particularly Bonilla’s bass playing, but drummer Elisa Seda deserves his props for his jaw-dropping swing.
They finish the EP with a track entitled “My Heart Machine”. This is easily the EP’s only clear nod to the band’s latent progressive and psychedelic tendencies, but it isn’t senseless meandering. The running time remains condensed and there’s abundant melody here that goes somewhere. Bonilla’s vocal varies its approach – it’s soothing one passage, slightly woozy or awestruck in the next. The conclusion to 3nity is worth its price of purchase by itself. The Von have outstripped the considerable achievement of their first album without exerting little effort and have set the bar high for future releases. This is a band with skill to burn and a clear conceptual vision of what they want to achieve with their music. 3nity doesn’t have a single dip in quality throughout its duration and will prove satisfying to anyone that hears it.
9 out of 10 stars