The debut album “Picture Perfect” for Newcastle punk hardcore 5 piece One Vital Word delivers everything their 2011 “Early Days” EP promised was yet to come from the band. Eleven emotive and powerful tracks featuring guest vocal appearances from Scotte Woods (One Dollar Short), Tim Hyde (Driven Fear) and Scott Bird (Hand of Mercy).
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ONE VITAL WORD – Picture Perfect
This Newcastle bunch set a solid platform with their ‘Early Days’ EP, while still finding their feet they were solid. Now they’ve stepped up to the full length in style. They continue to mix up their style and offer good variety, but for the most part melodic hardcore is where you slot them. The production is stellar, recording and mixing done in Newcastle and mastering in the US. Artwork compliments the music well and gives a good looking package. But more importantly, the music holds its own, they’ve definitely developed well since the EP and should get a good run out of this album. It’ll appeal to as many fans of the heavy stuff as much as the more melodic stuff. Hopefully they can pick up some good tours to support it and show off their obvious talent on the stage as well as on disc. [Belgium]
ONE VITAL WORD – Picture Perfect
One Vital Word gets to call Newcastle, Australia home and with their debut album they prove that people down under can rock just as well. The album is called “Picture Perfect” and right off the bat these guys launch into the title track with a simple riff that makes way for some nicely layered guitars, pounding drums and a vocalist who packs a lot of intensity in his vocals. This is melodic hardcore the way you want it to be done. The band then introduces Hand Of Mercy’s Scott Bird on the next song who delivers some catchy clean vocals that reminded me of that dude from Junction 18. Bird’s vocals complement the song nicely and really manages to add something to the song. From there on One Vital Word keeps the momentum going with a couple more cuts that are high on energy before bringing out One Dollar Short’s Scotte Woods on “The Corner” and Driven Fear’s Timothy Hyde on “One Of These Days”. Not that these guys need the guest vocals but it is a good way to spice things up even more than they already do. If melodic hardcore a la Comeback Kid is your thing, feel free to check out One Vital Word. They dropped an impressive album with “Picture Perfect” and if you take into account that this is only their debut, I’m definitely curious to see what they’ll come up with next!
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 – Reviewed by Thomas

BLUNT Issue #121
ONE VITAL WORD – Picture Perfect
First and title track “Picture Perfect” commences with feedback, then a riff, the melody tugs, pushes, but can never fully seperate itself from a thick, gutteral rhythm section. The ferocity of Owen Smith’s vocals and a rhythm section that borrow more than a few tricks from their metalcore counterparts ensure a relentless aggression pervades Picture Perfect. That being said, the band are far from being one dimensional – the violin embellishments on “Promises”, or the Eastern melodic influences colouring the start of “The Corner”, for example, reveal the band’s more adventurous songwriting. One Vital Word’s debut full-length encompasses impressive scope and a broad musical palette, but renders it all with the same almost tactile ever-present crusted punk earnestness and urgency. Just as likely to appeal to a fan of Stolen Youth as to a diehard Buried In Verona sweater.
Rating: 3.5/5 – Review by: Dave Drayton

Kill Your Stereo
ONE VITAL WORD – Picture Perfect
For those who heard One Vital Word’s debut EP ‘Early Days,’ released in 2011, you would probably agree the EP showed some serious potential, but also had room for improvement. Well, the good news is, their debut full length ‘Picture Perfect’ hits the mark with the band seamlessly combining both old and new punk/hardcore elements in eleven tracks that rarely have a dull moment. To get the criticisms out of the way early, the production could use a little more punch, some of the hard hitting guitar riffs would have for more impact with a clearer sound, it’s gritty but not in the “good punk gritty” way. This can be forgiven however thanks to the song structures and album flow, it never lets up and almost seems like one solid piece of brilliance. From the opening wall of sound, hard hitting, chaos that is ‘Picture Perfect’, to the following track, and one of the album highlights, ‘Promises’, which features guest vocals from Hand Of Mercy’s Scott Bird, the energy levels are on high. This track is a great example of the band’s ability to blend together their old school skate punk influences and a hardcore sound that can be incredibly brutal. One Dollar Short’s Scotte Woods appears on ‘The Corner’, a melody heavy number in which the guitar lines steal the limelight away from the vocals as the song builds into a huge thumping chorus. The group channel some serious Bodyjar on ‘Red Line’, a good way to sum up the era that has influenced the punk side of their sound before Driven Fear’s Timothy Hyde helps out with the punk blasts of ‘One Of These Days’. The record ends with a couple of blistering number, the fast paced ‘To You I Say It Through Song’, which speaks via its guitar lines once again more than the vocals, and the lighter toned ‘Seeing Stars’, which has a brightness about it despite being one of the record’s heavier songs. Summary. A perfect combination of genres. CONCLUSION: The Australian punk and hardcore scene is thriving right now, there are so many great up and coming bands that are waiting to be discovered by the masses and One Vital Word are no exception. People probably wouldn’t have expected this much from their debut full length, but fans of hardcore punk, especially when tinged with a classic feel, will find plenty here to love.
Rating: 80 – Review by: Luke C

PEE #49
ONE VITAL WORD – Picture Perfect
After hearing this hardcore punk band’s impressive EPs…I was really looking forward to letting this debut full-length loose on my ears. OVW are one of the most impressive young bands I’ve been exposed to in some time. They display an unapologetic mix of aggressive hardcore and Southern California skate-punk. These influences have been combined by other bands, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of any who have done it so well. The melody of both the guitars and vocals are what attracted me the most to the ‘Early Days’ EP and it is on full display here on the new album. They took the melodies they’ve incorporated in the past and ran with them on this disc. If you want a teaser to the album, to decide if you want to buy it…I recommend starting with ‘Far Away’ and ‘Caroline’. I’ve only been able to listen to these tracks all the way through a handful of times so far. If you give me another month to repeatedly listen to this album, I’m sure it will grow on me even further and get a near-perfect score. It’s rare that Australian punk bands get noticed in the U.S. market since the sheer number of American bands alone dilute the market and as a punk band…you need to play live shows to get noticed. But if I had to pick a current Aussie band that could carve out a small niche internationally, I would put my money on One Vital Word.
Rating: 94 – Review By: JM

PEE #49
ONE VITAL WORD – Picture Perfect
Yes, One Vital Word are a Pee Rec band and yes, I write for Pee Zine, so you’re probably thinking ‘of course this will get an amazing review because this dude works for Pee’ right? WRONG! This CD will get an amazing review because it is amazing! I’ve been a fan of OVW since I heard their first EP a few years ago, I didn’t mind their second EP either, now maybe 4 years later they’ve put out a full length record and holy shit it’s been worth the wait! With every cool drum fill, painful yell or bass line sparking some sort of emotion within me it’s clear the boys have poured their heart and soul into making this record. There’s not a dull moment on the album but I do have a few baby-sized criticisms, and here they are: the second track ‘Promises’ features guest vocalist, Scott Bird, and whilst his vocals suit the song well I feel like at only a few minutes in I am still getting a feel for the band and don’t want to be interrupted with guest appearances yet. Petty? I know, but there’s really not much else to flaw, well there’s also the synth string part at the end of the song, which I wasn’t too keen on because I’m a purist asshole and fake strings piss me off. Knit picking aside, this record kicks ass! Huge melodies, catchy vocal hooks, sing-a-longs and harmonies (which I really hope the other members can pull off live). Buy this CD and go see this band when they are on tour. They are my favourite, or maybe second favourite, Australian punk hardcore band and I highly recommend them to you! FFO: Comeback Kid, Strung Out
Rating: 95 – Review By: BUF

Chucking A Mosh
ONE VITAL WORD – Picture Perfect
After the raging success of their previous release, “Early Days,” One Vital Word had some big shoes, of their own making, to fill with their debut full length. “Picture Perfect” has it’s toes rubbing against the leather. The boys have found their winning formula and grown with it on their latest release. The album launches into the title song with an immediate onslaught of dramatic, heavy guitar. It sets the tone for entire album, never dropping off the energy and carrying a sense of dramatic tension that keeps you listening after the short opening track. Promises” then switches it up with guest vocals by Hand of Mercy’s Scott Bird, one of several guest performances. A rewarding track with a couple of decent breakdowns, the final one after a suspenseful lull that just kicks you in the face brilliantly. Bird’s voice really complements the band’s sound. The album rolls along with some more high energy tracks including “The Corner.” This time featuring Scotte Woods of One Dollar Short and a soaring chorus that just brings the whole album up to the next level. The last couple of tracks really bring it all together. The boys kick up the energy levels even more with some intricate guitar riffs that really show off their high level of musicianship. “Seeing Stars” wraps it all up with more fast paced guitar riffs. The album ends on one fist-pump worthy key change that proves One Vital Word just don’t slow down. All in all “Picture Perfect” is a healthy dose of friendly hardcore that still packs a punch. One Vital Word will be stepping things up off the back of this release, and it’s another solid album on the Pee Records label. Rating: 23/28 Days
ONE VITAL WORD – Picture Perfect
Newcastle, Australia, has been home to numerous successful artists and bands. Both the Screaming Jets and the more widely-known Silverchair began in Newcastle, and the city is never short on gigs to satisfy a music lover, regardless of their preference. In recent years, Newcastle has seen a surge in promising hardcore bands, and one band in particular has gathered increasing word of mouth and buzz around their full-length debut album. That band is One Vital Word, and that album is ‘Picture Perfect’. The first song on the album is also the title track, and serves as a perfect introduction to the band’s sound, as well as the rest of the album. Simple guitars give way to an amazingly layered sound. The drums pound, the bass is powerful, and the guitars begin to increase in tempo. The song contains the traditional elements of hardcore, but the delivery of it is on-par with popular hardcore veterans, and is very impressive from a band’s debut album. In preparation for this review, I listened to popular up-and-coming American hardcore bands on YouTube, and very few had vocals that could approach Owen from One Vital Word, and if they did, there was a lot of post-mixing and tuning to get it there. The same can be said for the rest of the band’s abilities too, and its refreshing to know that a band has approached each song with different effects and tunings to their instruments. It feels more like a greatest hits then a debut, and that’s a good thing. The next song falls more into a punk/hardcore hybrid classification, like the later works of Propagandhi. Its called ‘Promises’ and features Scott Bird of Sydney hardcore band Hand of Mercy performing guest vocals. The vocals bounce between clean singing and shouting, which may sound like some other bands, but as with other features of this album are very impressive from a debut. The guitars, drums, and bass are a rapid assault on the ears, and I was pleasantly surprised by the string arrangement in place of a typical breakdown or solo vocal scream. Listening to One Vital Word’s debut album really shows the quality that is possible with a debut album. According to the band’s official page at Pee Records’ website, the band write and play “fast and energetic music that they enjoy as mates” and this album truly reflects that. As a band of friends, their bond shows in their music. In the mix, all instruments sound equal, and all get their own moments in the spotlight. Within the songwriting, the vocals, guitars, bass and drums are all integral parts of a well-flowing machine, with not one instrument faltering or hogging the spotlight needlessly. It may sound like I have bad to say about Picture Perfect, and that’s partly true, because as a debut album its nothing short of brilliant. I will be interested to see how the band evolve with future releases, but in the meantime, they will be doing what they love to do most: touring. Highlight Song: There are so many songs to like on this album, but I will have to go with ‘Promises’, as out of all the songs, it contains so many elements that One Vital Word pull off so well. Octave chords, pounding drums, thundering basslines and vocals all meet together to form a truly powerful song. Its been said that One Vital Word contain the skill and presence of the bands that have influenced them, such as Comeback Kid and H20, and I would have to say with Promises, that feels like an understatement.
Score: 9/10 – Review by: Nick Getley

12 April 2013

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CAT #: PCD055
Recorded & Mixed by: Mitta Norath @ Tommirock Studios
Mastered by: Peter Rutcho @ Damage Productions

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