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Vardis - Quo Vardis (Reissue)

Quo Vardis (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 10 July 2017, 9:54 PM

Another year passing by and there they are, with a third album under their belt. VARDIS didn’t have too much time to plot their next course of action, however, they didn’t have to dive into constructive planning with the answers laid right under their noses. NWOBHM might had gone forward, back then almost at its post period, but it never bothered the trio from Yorkshire that remained true to the roots of the movement. “Quo Vardis” was the chosen title, similar to the band’s previous moniker between 1973 to 1977, assumingly in their STATUS QUO tribute days. Nonetheless, there is no relation any form of a cover, only original recordings. Within the Dissonance Productions newly reissued output, there are even two studio tracks that were firstly introduced in the live debut album two years back. I believe that this should be interesting for you.

On the previous album I was intrigued by the classy mixture of decades of Rock N’ Roll music, right on the edge of the harder direction. On “Quo Vardis” it seemed that VARDIS settled in a spot that may as well be their primary, a simple dosage of Hard Rock with slight shifts to early late 60’s to 80’s Pop / Rock and to the other end of proto Metal. I caught merely a glimpse of an American Rock orientation, but that faded away rather quickly in turn of their British Boogie Rock smoothness, a sort of crunchy simplicity taking wild turns deep in the realm of their idols STATUS QUO. The implementations of the Saxophone, Harmonica, acoustic guitar and Piano were pretty nice, marked “Quo Vardis” as tad friendlier than other releases of the early Hard N’ Heavy that started streaming the record stores back then in the UK, VARDIS felt as a refreshed being among the steadily gone heavy British Rock.

Starting with B-Side was probably bound to happen as I had a feeling that in a studio version it would sound much leaner and cleaner. One of the better additions as bonuses to the Dissonance Productions reissues is “Too Many People”. This particular version has more enthusiasm, it shaped up to be a catchy number representing the softer edge of the entrance of Pop into the harder Rock music in the early 80s. Simple rocker that would return listeners down its road again. “Gary Glitter Part One” is where Rock N’ Roll comes to town to bang on your door, a kind of weird title considering the fact that I know who Mr. Glitter is, and went down with the guy wasn’t too pretty. Anyhow, a solid track, channeling a good vibe. “Together Tonight” continues the former’s glory, a little heavier on the riffs with robust energy, considering, on the rhythm section. “To Be With You” is a kind of a refresher, acoustically driven balladry, harmonic and actually sounded suitable to the band’s direction, a radio friendly piece nonetheless. More recommended: “Dream With Me”, “Where There’s Mods There’s Rockers” and the studio recording of “The Lion’s Share”.

“Quo Vardis” also marked a step towards the end of the first era of VARDIS, which was disbanded after their fourth album “Vigilante” dated 1986. Recently the band returned to action and already has an album out. For now, indulge yourselves on the past, it is worth it.


3 Star Rating

1. Do I Stand Accused
2. Where There’s Mods There’s Rockers
3. Please Do
4. Dream With Me
5. Gary Glitter Part One
6. Walking
7. To Be With You
8. Together Tonight
9. Boogie Blitz (Inspired By Griff & Smig)
10. The Plot To Rock The World
11. Too Many People (Air Studios)
12. The Lion’s Share (Air Studios)
Steve Zodiac - Vocals / Guitars / Mandolin
Alan Selway - Bass / Vocals
Gary Pearson - Drums / Percussion / Backing Vocals
Jools "Liberace" Holland - Piano
Ron "Brighton Rocker" Aspery - Saxophone
Paul King - Harmonica
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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