Dark Indie-Rock from El Monte: Villains ‘Midnight Tasting’ EP Review

Villains, a now 2 piece band from El Monte, where drummer William Franco switched from behind a kit to bass, and Edgar Dominguez, vocals and guitar, croon under the dark-indie rock stream, that draws inspiration by “sounds of heart ache, deceit and other emotional stuff.” Guided by a rockabilly modern structure, which is heard through detectible traits such as drumming and rhythm on the track “Explorer,” Villains, cruise through each song with their emotional baggage, and Dominguez’s low, and at times rough vocals.

Their 5 track EP, Midnight Tasting(2014), embodies the darker side of human emotions and thoughts, as each track touches on some personal aspect or memory. Opening up the EP, “Afterthought,” perfectly demonstrates the direction Villains aim to lean towards. Rougher around the edges, lyrically this track is direct in anger, disbelief, and honesty: “revenge on my mind I can’t take the pics out my eyes / the information isn’t hard just took me a while to realize.”  Another track that sums up this feeling is “Jokes on You,” with enjoyable tempo changes, and a soft female vocalist that softens Dominguez’s grit.

Eighteen” is a track that acquires a second listen to appreciate the track. While the opening part of the song stood out amongst the rest, the build up to the chorus, along with the chorus, seemed to throw off the song’s momentum, in between each verse.  Yet, among a second listen and appreciation towards the lyrics, the words unraveled the purpose of the off-ness where the chorus rested- “how can something drenched in beauty be so foul? / Eighteen and abused honey / I got a job for you baby” – is as eerie read, as heard on the track, and can justify the song’s structure.

The standout track would be “Only for Tonight,” where a possible one night stand could capture the beauty longer than an actual relationship. On this track the Villains’ true sounds are captured and heard, combining the dark, blunt view of reality, low, intrusting vocals, and drums that build momentum as Dominguez’s emotional tone rises.



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