Vended’s slamming new single

One of Iowa’s most well known metal bands Vended recently released their new single entitled “Overall” on Nov. 2, 2022. 

“Overall” is the newest of seven songs that the band has released so far, five of which reside on an EP entitled “What Is It/Kill It released in Nov. of 2021. The band has released their new track independently, as they have with all of their previous material up to this point.

Vended is most well known for containing members Griffin Taylor (son of Corey Taylor) and Simon Crahan (son of Sean Crahan) who are both members of Slipknot. Taylor and Crahan’s relation to members of Slipknot continues to help them gain attention from heavy metal media outlets.

Though Taylor and Crahan take obvious songwriting influence from their fathers’ songwriting techniques, Vended continues to release very authentic and original sounding music that does not copy Slipknot in the slightest. “Overall is a great example of the band’s originality.

“Overall” starts out an intro that is somewhat uncommon compared to Vended’s past works. Rather than starting out with a scream or aggressive drum fill, this song takes a more eerie and ambient approach with a repetitive programmed loop.

This song’s intro loop sounds similar to industrial machinery operating, though it remains unclear exactly what they used. It is unclear whether this is a sample or something that the band had recorded themselves and pitch shifted.

Guitarist Cole Espeland drowns out the programmed intro loop with screeching electric guitar work. Espeland seems to be using harmonics on the lower strings as well as a wah pedal to create a very distorted and fuzzy sound. Bassist Jeremiah Pugh follows soon after with a distorted bass line played on the lowest bass string.

During the intro, Crahan plays a very simple drum beat consisting of slow double bass, ride cymbal, floor tom and snare drum. Crahan plays the intro drum fill for the last eighteen seconds of the intro, which ends with an anger-filled scream from Taylor.

When the main verse riff of the song kicks in with Taylor’s scream, rhythm guitarist Connor Grodzicki begins to play for the first time in the song. Grodzicki and Espeland both play a very simple down tuned riff on the two lowest strings of their guitars, accompanied by Crahan’s hardcore punk style drumming. Crahan moves away from using the ride cymbal, and instead gravitates to the crash and china cymbal for the rest of this song. 

The lyrical themes in overall seem to be about feeling trapped in a negative headspace, feeling pained or remembering past trauma. Taylor’s vocal delivery on this song is very harsh and aggressive, which drives the lyrical theme perfectly.

 The only aspect of this song that nearly replicates Slipknot at certain points are Taylor’s vocals; his screaming in the verses of this song, as well as most Vended songs in general, sound a lot like his father’s voice. While this aspect of Vended isn’t intentional, it provides an aspect of their songs that a longtime Slipknot fan could easily gravitate towards. 

The band decides to use gang vocals for the first and second chorus of the song as well. However, they do not sound to be Taylor’s voice, and are likely the other band members.

The ending of both chorus sections contain a piece of the song very similar to the song’s intro, even the guitar riff seems to copy Pugh’s intro bassline for a brief few seconds. Rather than going into another brief verse part, the second chorus of this song leads the listener into the breakdown. 

The breakdown features a similar rhythm riff played by Grodzicki and is followed with a similar bassline from Pugh. Espeland enters with a melodic lead part on the higher strings of his guitar, along with some very slow yet explosive drums from Crahan to match the rest of the band. 

After the breakdown, the chorus/outro goes on with a similar structure to the previous chorus. The drumming is the most significant deviation from the other chorus sections of the song, as Crahan decides to end the song with a blast beat section as Taylor finishes screaming the chorus and the guitars fade out.

“Overall” is a great example of Vended’s capability to provide original material and stay true to the unique sound that they have created, all while taking opportunities to experiment with certain elements of songwriting that they haven’t used in the past.