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Review: "The Ruins" by VISTA

Alternative rock duo VISTA's new EP, The Ruins, is only eight short days away from its release on October 25. This release will be the first of a trio of EPs and is the band's first release since 2017. Additionally, the duo, consisting of lead vocalist Hope Vista and guitarist Greg Almeida, is currently working on a documentary for what they have been up to for the past two years, which will be exclusive to YouTube, and the documentary will be released on November 12th. Let's go ahead and break down this album track-by-track:

1: "The Ruins/After Death": The Ruins opens up with the title track, a hypnotic sound collage that lasts almost 50 seconds. This segues into the first song, "After Death," which features some angry-sounding vocals from Hope, along with some Paul Reynolds-inspired guitar playing from Almeida in the verses and some power chords in the chorus. Driven by a pounding bass drum part, "After Death" has the potential to be an alternative rock anthem that hundreds of teenage youth will be blasting in their bedrooms, screaming how their a little messed up, and being proud of it.

2: "Sin City": A little more laid back of a tune than "After Death," Hope's vocals are a little more subdued here. I can interpret this song as being about a place where people who have done wrong in their past can go and be safe from all of the wrong they have done. The line that really gets me is "The city lights won't blind your ghost."

3: "I Don't Need Help": We have another teenage bedroom anthem here folks. "This is my house! I don't need help! I was born to be dramatic!" This tune speaks for itself. The protagonist is proud of who they are, and they don't care what anyone else thinks. Guest vocalist Okan Kazdel does a stunning delivery on the bridge of this song along with a great vocal by Hope.

4: "Novocaine": The album ends on a somber note, with an emotional, seductive vocal performance by Hope. It seems like the protagonist is going through a huge amount of pain, with no way out except to have Novocaine. What a great way to end the EP.

Overall, VISTA comes into the end of 2019 with a very insightful, very thinking man's alternative rock EP. Hope and Greg should be proud of themselves. Come October 25th, I hope thousands of teenage youth are going to be blasting songs like "After Death" and "I Don't Need Help," because those songs have the potential to become alt rock classics. If this is the first of a trilogy, I can't wait for the next two.

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