The Vim Dicta

The Vim Dicta
EP Release Party
The Viper Room
Sunset Strip, West Hollywood
By Victoria Joyce

You had me at gift bag.  Smart cookie and The Vim Dicta’s manager, Dan Nash threw a big SWAG event and EP release party on Thursday night, November 14 at the Viper Room on Sunset Strip. And it paid off big time. The place was packed with a nice-looking crowd of rock aficionados from LA’s music scene. Meaning, the club was easily 80% musicians. We are family.

We first saw The Vim Dicta at the Sunset Strip Music Festival two years ago and loved this dedicated trio. With a holistic approach, the Vims carefully craft all graphics, photos, social media along with a carefully sculpted stage show. They love black and white. The drama. The shock.

The Vim Dicta signature is a circle Op-Art moiré pattern. Tonight these dizzying disks are projected from light fixtures brought in by the band. The effect was old-school psychedelic meets Hollywood movie premiere with these swirling lights searching the ceiling. Far out, man.

This show is in celebration of the release “Von Tango,” the 5-song EP recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios in the heart of Hollywood. Frank Sinatra was very fond of this place. Ring a ding ding.

Taking the stage at the stroke of 10, The Vims are headed up by lead vocalist and guitar player, Cori Elliott who sings very Siouxsie Sioux, very Patti Smith with a plaintive punk chanteuse voice. Haunting. Backed up by Matt Tunney on guitar and vocals and Ace-in-the-hole, new drummer Chris “Fuse” Infusino. We got the skinny on this dude post-set. More later.

The feel and direction is old school psychedelic rock with splashes of punk and a touch of funk. Loud and proud. Clean and mean. Literate and primitive. Dramatic drums and itchy, crazy, hooky, riffy guitars playing tribal funk punk with dimension and depth.

Songs featured were from the EP; “Teaspoon,” “Stallion,” “Name of the Game,” “Point Blank” and title cut, “Von Tango.”

We loved “Name of the Game,” coming off on the psychedelic side with the melting liquid guitar solos while the lights continued to swirl, chopped up with frenetic drumming. Very 13th Floor Elevators territory.

Lyrics are smart, sad and serious. “This song is a new one,” Cori told the crowd, “It’s called “Stranger.” Nice echoey guitars going a little bit more heavy-metal and choppy with splashes of symbols that circle back around like this song is trying to catch up to itself.

“You’re turning me on tonight. Everybody looks so sexy!” Cory kept it short and sweet with the between song banter. Clearly it was a Love Fest. Then they went into “Stallion,” a more southern bluesy thang here. The energy is subdued and effective, clever and cautious.

We didn’t see the set list so we don’t know the name of the next song but it had a Middle Eastern vibe with atonal feel that circled around and around, rocking the Casbah. Every song sounds different and distinct. You know that cliché about “all their songs sound the same.” Not here.

Reminiscent of the power trios of the 60s, like Blue Cheer, Cream and of course, Hendrix, The Vim Dicta has studied the classics and they bring their own passions in the room and on the stage. There were a few people dancing. Shake it up, baby. We even got a drum solo.

After the show we caught a few quick words with Dan Nash.  He was very happy with the show. He gave away a lot of swag; CDs and T-shirts, drink tickets and a lot of goodies. Did ya save one for me?

Dan told us about taking the band to New York over the summer for a slew of East Coast gigs and how much work they did. After some drama, they were in the corner and needed a drummer but quick. “I put an ad on Craigslist headlined with “Don’t fuck with me!” They got lucky. Chris Infusino was hired the next day. Learning the songs in a blink, Chris was part of the Atlantic sweep and his talent has enhanced The Vim Dicta. He’s got the beat. Glad it worked out so well.