Starting with a brooding soundscape which is reminiscent of Disintegration-era The Cure. ‘255’ breaks into ‘Doubt’ without missing a beat. The track has all the hallmarks of Mike Vennart’s illustrious history. The imprint of Oceansize is indelible in the music Mike continues to create, but it has something more, whilst at first blush less deep and more immediate.
‘Infatuate’ is carried along by some awesome bass riffs, crunching guitars and inflected vocal, but it is the constant thumping beat which elevates the track. The incessant longing and foreboding of the upcoming chorus brings a feeling of urgency which only increases when the chorus makes its arrival. A masterpiece.
Whilst ‘Don’t Forget The Joker’ reminds me of Audioslave (the vocal resemblance is uncanny in the opening verses) it is the slower pace of the song which works really well in the context of the album, showing a diversity of songwriting and complexity of instrumentation.
Rather than work track by track describing what is fantastic about each one, it is better to convey that overall the album has a depth of feeling which appears flat at first and slowly evolves into its true self. Choruses seem so simple yet get under your skin and you find yourself humming them when you least expect to be humming Vennart. The production and mix brings another layer as does the choice of instruments, which is not that of regular guitar, bass, drums. Rather that should be it is not ONLY guitar, bass, drums; there is electronic sequencing, brass and way more going on in here.
In The Demon Joke Mike Vennart has added further glories to his arsenal of solid musical adventures.