The Venetia Fair – The Venetia Fair…Basically Just Does Karaoke
Record Label: None
Release Date: December 24, 2013
Leave it to the crazy fellas in The Venetia Fair to let six Kickstarter backers pick songs for them to cover for The Venetia Fair…Basically Just Does Karaoke. If you’ve been following this band, you probably know how wild their live show and overall antics are. However, you probably also realize how theatrical the band is, instilling confidence that they would do a fine job covering these otherwise nearly untouchable songs.
Arguably the boldest track starts off the karaoke session with “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Now, I wasn’t too worried about how this one would work – yes, it’s one of the best songs ever written, but Queen’s influence is evident in The Venetia Fair’s music already. A bit more sped up than the original, the boys make the song their own. And sure enough, vocalist Benny Santoro does the vocal performance as good of justice as anyone could imagine. The rest of the crew keeps the pace up throughout the song, most notably with Joe Occhiuti’s rapid keys. Because “Jesus Of Suburbia” is one of my favorite songs ever, I was curious and apprehensive with how that cover would sound. The band definitely puts their own spin on the song, changing the tone from a fast-paced rock song to a more theatrical number. The best thing about the cover is how Santoro doesn’t try to mimic Armstrong at all – he has no hesitation in putting his own flare on the vocals for all seven minutes.
“Come on Eileen” is the best full band performance here, with each member bringing something to the table. Mike Abiuso's guitar work never distracts from the catchy and classic chorus but still feels prevalent, while Chris Constantino’s drums provide a hearty rhythm and Mr. Chark's bass acts as the backbone. When the track slows down, the keys sway in and out, allowing the band's musicianship to continue to excel. Tackling The Blood Brothers’ “Camouflage, Camouflage” allows the rougher side of Santoro’s vocals to surface, proving how truly versatile and talented the frontman is. I mean seriously, the guy can go from doing a Blood Brothers track into walking the way of Claudio Sanchez immediately after it – and he does so without missing a beat.
Ironically enough, I think these covers will really make listeners fully appreciate the talent of each member of The Venetia Fair. Sure, the dudes seem wild and crazy, but there’s an underlying talent that’s hard to miss here. Every member brings something to each cover, making this more than just a “band does random karaoke songs for an EP.” It’s clear that a vast amount of thought and precise effort went into the reworking of each of the these songs. Rather than basically just doing karaoke, The Venetia Fair add their own flare to each song, starting off 2014 with the right foot forward.
Excellent review. Still not sure if I can get into their music or not...the talent is undeniably there, but it's really just not my cup of tea. Either way, if this includes a "Bohemian Rhapsody" cover, I'll certainly give them another go.