`Change Will Come
Fester's Vice

By Jim Conway

Probably one of the more enduring characters spawned by the television medium was Uncle Fester from the old "Addams Family" TV show. Recently Fester's Vice leader David Dwyer told of the inspiration behind the band's name.

"Seems like forever I have had terrible headaches and if you remember, Uncle Fester always put his head in a vise when he had one (a headache that is.) This cure impressed me when I was a kid and I've always said, "I needed Fester's vise." So trading the vise for some "vice," Dwyer christened this self proclaimed "side project," drawing from the talents of the Louisville area (drummer Chris Watson of Fiveast) as well as Dwyer's own Madison, Indiana (lead guitarist Steve Osborne.)

Several of these tunes truly show Dwyer's ability to capture the essence of hard rock a la Black Sabbath, Rush and Metallica, without the long, drawn-out arrangements those bands rely on. Instead, that are tight, concise arrangements with melodies that stick in your long-term memory.

Melody abounds in "The Longer She Rides," with an almost conversational vocal delivery during the verses, which build to the hook in the chorus, and in turn are connected by some excellent guitar/bass interplay by Dwyer and Osborne. In fact the instrumental chemistry these two show is obvious in "Slack In You're Leash," and "Collide" as well. The later cut seems to be a Sabbath inspired opus of, the best I can tell, "the winds of change: colliding."

My one complaint about Change Will Come is the vocals. They sound like they were recorded in a cave, with double tracking thrown in for good measure. I'm not saying the lyrics are unintelligible, I'm just saying that without a lyric sheet, who knows what some of this stuff is about? Those of you who love the early REM with Michael Stipe at his most nebulous, take note.

"Cabin Fever" laments the hair-pulling frustration of being trapped indoors during a snowstorm and it reminds me of one such 26-inch dusting I endured in my closet-sized dorm room with no cable TV or VCR. By the time the snow melted, I was a Prozac candidate, which unfortunately, had not been yet invented.

Probably the best idea for a song (as well as a song title AC/DC would probably wish they had thought of) is "Mine's Bigger," in which Dwyer sings of the heartache he's seen, and even though he appreciates what his listener may have endured, in his mind, his pain is much bigger: migraines and all.