October 4, 2007

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Amneja Vu, The Factory
self-released, Aug. 13
There are still pockets of bands out there who sail against the pop-cultural winds, some misguided but happy, others waiting patiently for the wind to change. On face, Lawrence, Mass.’s Amneja Vu are a prime example of right sound/wrong time, but their prog/hard-rock isn’t so hopelessly ensconced in a self-destructive Darwin-dissing bubble that they’d be best advised to pack it in. On one hand, they could be rubber-stamped as a frivolous side project intended to provide an outlet for the two principals’ Dream Theater and Metallica worship, not distantly akin to Phoenix undergrounders Sammus Theory. But AV have it over Sammus in that it’s one thing to have a Queensryche-like idea of existential whatever-ness in one’s head and quite another to funnel it effectively onto a record. These guys have a little more Mars Volta/Minus the Bear studying to do if they want to compete in the Bigs, but their riffing is firmly in place, thus the hard part’s already done. A bit more punkish/introspective sentiment — and they’re not clueless local-jokel hair-metal twits to begin with, and I’m not just being a creampuff local-jokel reviewer when I say that — will put them where they want to be. B-Eric W. Saeger