23 Sep 2023

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Vox Capacitor - EP Review: Variance

07 Aug 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus

Variance is the promised follow-up to the Hindsight EP from Auckland-based solo artist Vox Capacitor.

Solo in the truest sense: everything is created, performed, produced, engineered, and mixed by Vox Capacitor (aka Steve McBride) himself. Vox Capacitor draws inspiration from artists such as Prince, Foo Fighters, and Tame Impala among others in creating his "jangly dad rock/indie guitar pop" sound, and the five tracks on Variance certainly fit nicely within the pop/rock description. 

I'm one to have a wee geek-out over guitar tones, so this was a thoroughly enjoyable listen all the way through. A lovely resonator-style tone underpins the lightly driven riff of first track Feed The Hand That Bites You, a song which seems to be a warning about the dangers of being careless with online information. Following that is Delta, which sounds like the glorious deep tones of a Bass VI if I'm not mistaken. What I especially like about Delta is the way the instruments are down-tuned and driven without sounding "heavy" per se, but more creating a large, full, and powerful sound.

Listing is the next track, and my favourite. A beautifully mournful track, musically floating and light, but lyrically speaking of loss and sadness, with the chorus "Listing, unable to stay upright, Listing, wound up so very tight, Listing, you set my world alight, Listing... everything's not going to be alright". Simultaneously haunting, and sweet. Blinding Lights is definitely very much more in the "pop" category than the other tracks, and yet musically the most complex of the EP, with some absolutely gorgeous chord progressions in both the verses and chorus, and a superb vocal melody.

The last track is Rectangle, which I have previously reviewed as a single here. As I noted in that review, I would have liked to have heard the vocals slightly higher in the mix. I felt the same on both Delta and Blinding Lights. Overall, I have to say I really like the production on Variance, all of the instruments are recorded and reproduced beautifully, with a more "rock" than "pop" sensibility given to the mixing of the EP as a whole. I just struggled to make out some of the vocal parts on those three tracks, even when listening with earbuds. I quite like Vox Capacitor's voice, I thinks it's an excellent match for the songs he writes, I'd just like to hear it a little more.

I've enjoyed listening to this EP and will continue to do so, I hope you'll feel inclined to give it a nudge too. Vox Capacitor is planning to release a full album in the near future, I'm looking forward to it. 


About Vox Capacitor

Vox Capacitor is a one man jangly dad rock and indie guitar pop explosion from Auckland, New Zealand. Forged in the fires of COVID, everything you hear - vocals, guitars, bass, drums, keys and percussion, as well as the production, engineering and mixing is the product of a single mind. After entering the musical fray with the Hindsight EP last year, 2023 starts off with a bang on Feb 24 with the first song Rectangle from the upcoming Variance EP, to be followed by a full album later in the year!

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Vox Capacitor


Year: 2023
Type: EP
Year: 2022
Type: EP

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