Upon the first five or so listens, I really liked Vega 4, a veritable United Nations-style band, with members hailing from Ireland, New Zealand, England, and, uh, Canada. Their blend of Jeff Buckley or Thom Yorke-esque vocals and midtempo guitar pop sort of had Hot AC written all over it, but I figured "Yellow" by Coldplay was a big hit at that format and that song rules. Plus, the b-sides were even better, with the songs taking a more experimental slant and falling closer to the territory of their UK labelmates Muse or Lorien (as featured on Player .030) or with guitars similar to personal weakness Puressence. So I check out their label-based website, and except for a cool feature that makes the blurry picture of the band focused when you drag their logo over it, find not much info. Next up: a fan site. And what do I find? That this band I held such great hope for is getting big in Germany and Austria. That can't be good, can it? The capper was next: this quartet is opening for Bryan Adams in the UK. Bryan! With a "B!" Regardless, Better Life EP b-side "Hearing Voices" is still an epic jam, so I stand by my original feelings. I just hope I don't need to withdraw my opinion after the next release.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN