Posted by & filed under Featured Music, Features, Music.

Branch Davidian namesakes craft catchy Mastodon-esque southern metal/post-hardcore hybrid with phenomenal results

Vernon Wayne

One member was missing from this picture. Hopefully not absent forming his own cult…

Do you remember a little while we talked about Minneapolis post-metal band Earthrise? Seismic and sample-rich, they’re a fixture in that area’s scene, and terrific guys to boot – so when we received an e-mail from fellow locals and practice space-mates Vernon Wayne, we couldn’t not take a look.

Turns out they’re fucking excellent as well. God damn!

It’s great when researching a band’s name reveals something a little nugget of information or touches on something fascinating, and Vernon Wayne are one of that breed. Not, as you might think, any relation to Bruce/Batman; instead Vernon Wayne Howell was better known as David Koresh, the name he legally chose in 1990, three years prior to his death at an infamous siege in Waco, Texas. A self-proclaimed prophet and head of the Branch Davidian religious sect, he and seventy-six of his group’s members perished in a fire during an FBI raid on their compound.

So with such interesting subject matter – if not inspiration – Vernon Wayne have gone about creating a masterful new EP called Jazzes. It’s their second to date, and it’s five tracks of varied and expertly crafted rock and metal.

Vernon Wayne - Jazzes[15th July 2013]
[Self Released]

01. Ghost Arms and Phantom Lips
02. Get Your Torche
03. Ursa, Minor
04. Tony Rides his Horse Forever, Always
05. The History of Time (and Cats)


They’re pretty cagey about even classifying themselves as metal, saying:

[quote-symbol symbol1]Vernon Wayne is a Minneapolis MN band that skirts the boundaries between indie and rock, between collected and spastic. Toss in some metal here and a pinch of baroque there, and you get Vernon Wayne’s unique brand of music.

That’s fairly accurate, but you can’t help but sit there listening to opener “Ghost Ares and Phantom Lips” and think “God damn, I have some fierce kinda Mastodon-shaped itch right now”; so laced with southern metal sensibilities is it. Beyond that, there’s a great range of diverse styles on offer, with the cleanliness and pace of the songs altering as each tune flows. The quivering post-hardcore sections on the closers are hard to ignore too, with “The History of Time (and Cats)” channelling Kill Sadie and Loom in equal measure and to great effect.

Jazzes was released only this week, and the band are  taking a page from fellow Minnesotans Torch The Spires‘s book, and will be making one track from the EP free to download every week. Otherwise, it can be streamed in its entirety for free via Bandcamp, or downloaded for a mere $4.