Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
There's a Cerberus or two lurching in, out and between the ends of Hundred Visions songs. The guard dogs of Hades are here and there, curled up in a ball, at the base of a grand chair, until needed, for some snarling and some protection. They might not be the predators roaming the streets of Ben Maddox's songs, but they can smell that they're out there and they don't mean good. There are bloodsuckers and there are beasts of prey all moving in and with the shadows, on the scent and biding their time until they know that they'll be able to emerge with full bellies and slower steps, fed. There are paths of destruction growing longer and wider, winding through the contours of these songs that are heavy on phat melodies and grooves, songs that - all at once - remind us of the Talking Heads, The Cure, Radiohead and classic British pop. Maddox is a superb front man and he allows himself to luxury of letting his voice go to all of its many peaks and valleys, making the cup runneth over with gooey trajectories and sublime psychedelia that never loses its hold on reality. It gets out into the stratosphere, but it never flies off into the upper boundary waters, out there where there's no reception and there's no way to know what they're doing or trying to do.
The songs on the band's debut 7-inch, led with the A-side track of "Last Cab From Tunis," an ace cut that could get a statue moving its tail-feathers around and wagging a tongue and finger, are adventuresome and rich with the hunt. "Vampire" is a song that burns at both ends, like something that the Doors would have made at their stoniest, but with an extra bit of bite and an extra bit of chomp to it. It's where the monsters come in and Maddox sings, "Vampire, go easy/Vampire, go easy/Go easy/If my blood is slow/I would make it run/Please just let me know/When you are done." We think that monster is a lover and our feeling is that it's one that someone no longer wants to be with. There's a submission, even as the music's pulsing and sprinting off in the opposite direction underneath. It hits sharply and slides us into the first aid tent, where our necks are tended to by professionals - though they've never seen wounds like the ones left here. They just do their best, even while the rest of the affected body continues to be on high alert, ready for the vampire to return, ready for the rolling thunder to come back around.