It’s not every day that a three track EP defies you not to listen to it on multiple spins. It’s not every day a band can change your expectations of what comes next every 30 seconds, but then again, it’s not every day a band lists a range of influences from Mariah Carey to Slayer.
That’s VARNA, a rock/pop trio based out of Los Angeles. From their press photo in which they are laden in so much black leather that would make Tywin Lannister blush, to the opening lyrics “sometimes we make promises we can’t keep to someone else,” to the blatant disregard of a bassist, there is enough fodder to chalk the band up to just another LA hard rock act that passes through the wheel of the music industry every day.
One would think, but it’s not every day…
C’mon man, it’s hard rock/pop. 1) You have to really screw it up for it to not be good and 2) if you are talented, your fans are going to take to the streets to make sure everyone knows who you are. Guess which one VARNA falls under? They have a passionate fan base, so let’s break it down.
Frontwoman Tiana Woods has charisma to spare and wastes no time displaying her vocal range in the scant three tracks of This Time It’s Personal. In the opener, “Down,” she goes from whiskey-soaked sultry to the brink of metal “yeeeeaaaaahhhh…” Rossen Pinkas pulls double duty on the album, showing his ability to handle rhythmic and crunching power chords and face melting solos. Rob Shin shoulders the load of carrying the rhythm section like a pro (because, again, no bassist), keeping every driving beat, every fill and every cymbal crash well-timed.
Three tracks does not an album make, and it remains to be seen if the trio can deliver on a 40-60 minute LP, but they are so full of promise that I am optimistic for their future. Seriously, if I could bottle their energy, I would be awake for days. If they keep up their drive, DIY mentality and connection with their fans, VARNA’s names will be on our lips for years to come. Be glad to day is not every day.
This Time It’s Personal is available through iTunes or you can check them out on soundcloud.