Life in a Vacuum (EP) (self-released)

Black Presidents 

Life in a Vacuum (EP) (self-released)

Together two years, Black Presidents still seems like the proverbial band next door that's setting off all the car alarms on the block with bass-guitar-and-kick-drum synchronicity one day, then, the next day, has a blurb in some glossy. Life in a vacuum, indeed. Whether it's destined for the vicissitudes of rock stardom, Black Presidents is poised to break out on the local scene with a sonic phalanx of unrestrained prog experimentalism and garage fury. The disc starts with a snarling taunt to an alcoholic friend, which, with singer Adam McGill's first Dave Grohlian Oh!, pretty much sums up everything that's too often missing in homespun hard rock: balls, brains and ballistics. In the remaining 14:35 of the EP, the band scampers across Mars Volta territory but avoids the temptation to stray into spacey, rock-opera bathos. This doesn't always work to the Presidents' advantage, however; in some songs, the ferocity seems relegated to the writing rather than the rocking, which produces short, overwrought tunes with more time changes than a fake Rolex. Bands with chops like this shouldn't worry too much about overindulgence -- hell, that's what prog is all about -- and should just allow their cerebral jams to develop into the lighter-melting epics that they're already on the verge of becoming. If there's any justice, a label will snatch up this EP and send Black Presidents right back to the studio, with plenty of cash to help the group burst out of its vacuum.

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