One of the most awesomely strange listens that I’ve had the pleasure of diving into over the past few years, X Ambassadors’ “VHS” has the group from Ithaca, NY finally hitting their stride with more people than their core group of fans. The album has a little something for all kinds of music fans. If you like an album experience, that’s here several times over. If you care more about catchy tunes, I’m happy to let you know that this album has its fair share of those too. If you like stuff that’s a little bizarre and fits into the left of center category – that’s here as well. X-Ambassadors rock a little bit of everything on “VHS” and it’s as good of an album that’s going to come out in 2015.
The first thing of note with VHS is the album experience that it provides. With old audio clips from VHS tapes of the Sam Harris’ youth and the band’s younger years smattered throughout the album and some well thought out song placement, VHS is a true album experience. After that, the songs are just really good. There are the songs that we’ve all heard before – including “Renegades”, “Jungle”, and “Unsteady” – but there are also at least five other great songs on the album, including my personal favorite “Hang On”. The voice of Sam Harris blasts through on this album on all of the songs and the features with Jamie N. Commons and Imagine Dragons certainly help out too. You also can’t diminish how good the guys in X Ambassadors are at their own distinctive sound. Just like Imagine Dragons has their own distinctive sound with their rhythm section, X Ambassadors has their own personal brand of it too.
VHS is a great record and it’s been one that’s been a long time coming. Dallas wrote about these guys all the way back in 2012 when they were featured in our new music preview with the likes of Fun and Imagine Dragons. Since then, the band has had an uphill climb to get their music heard by everyone. After the release of VHS, let’s hope they get some of the recognition that they deserve.