Review - Signs of a Vacant Soul

Artist: Virgos Merlot

comment

Birmingham, Ala., transplants Virgos Merlot bring a callous edge to this pop-friendly city. After a brief listen, you'd think the Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland was off heroin and disguised as Virgos' lead vocalist/guitarist/lyricist Brett Hestla.

"Signs of a Vacant Soul," the band's debut album, is a sonically impressive first effort, but Virgos Merlot has a ways to go before reaching full potential. Each song embraces the same pattern: Hestla sings a few lines, then the heavy guitar assault chimes in. The group dubs itself a dark, alternative-rock band, but really the music is reminiscent of similar outfits such as Creed and Soul Coughing. "Kiss My Disease" is a pacific ballad. "The Cycle" and "Gain" sound like any other song you would hear on the radio.

But don't totally write off Virgos Merlot. Hestla's wailing range runs the gamut, and these guys are certainly talented, not to mention young (20 to 24). The band seems to have the capacity to go to the next level -- if they can just get away from the ho-hum lifeless alternative rock that inundates us today.

Tags

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.