In a world gone quite mad, finding something to hang onto has become even more a matter of necessity than before. Over the ages humanity has clung to the arts, finding solace and inspiration for perseverance through music, painting, sculpture, dance, or other expressions of tapping into the divine nature reminding us we are not alone and this world is not all there is. Now, just in the nick of time, the much-loved yet little-known band Vector has made Vital, its first album in 26 years. And oh, was it worth the wait.
Vector was and is the brainchild of bassist/lead vocalist/main songwriter Steve Griffith and guitarist Jimmy Abegg. Originally rooted in Sacramento, California’s Warehouse Ministries, alongside fellow bands and artists such as The 77s and Charlie Peacock Vector pursued an artistic path of alt rock with Christian-based if not always overtly evangelistic lyrics. The band never achieved the public recognition, or same within Christian rock circles, of its compatriots. Still, it established a small loyal core of aficionados who since 1995’s Temptation have longed for Messrs. Griffith and Abegg to give it another go. Finally they have.
The new album leans heavily on Vector’s more straightforward rock tendencies and steers clear of the techno flavorings of its first few albums. The band is that rarity of having a sound familiar enough to be comfortable yet with more than sufficient innovation and edginess to be original.
The fortunate few music duets create a synergy lifting the end result to something far greater than either artist can accomplish individually. Griffith and Abegg have that quality in spades. The two blend together and feed off of one another in a seamless, exhilarating whole. Twenty-six years apart? Sounds more like 26 minutes, if that long.
Lyrically, Vital is a much more straightforward Christian album than one usually associates with Vector. This is accomplished without sloganeering or “Christianese” clichés. instead, Vector weaves its faith into its words organically. The lyrics flow with the melody, the melodies sitting atop powerful, tasteful riffs and rhythms.
In short, Vital belies the notion of older bands reuniting strictly for the paycheck when artistically they have long been a spent force. Setting aside the notion there is any money involved (this is classic Christian rock, after all), Vector has graced up with a superb effort laced with truth and unbridled enthusiastic rock’n’roll. It is albums like this that make the search for nuggets amid the morass of popular music worth the effort. The performance is impassioned and precise, the songs meaningful. Vital by Vector is everything one can want in a rock album and then some.
The album is available at the band’s record label’s site.