Southern Florida power trio The Von have returned with the follow-up to 2015’s debut album, Ei8gt, a three song EP entitled 3nity. The interval between the releases saw the three piece score a double showcase at the South by Southwest Festival and a national summer tour. Their music licensing has been an important component in the band’s success – twelve television networks, including Fox Sports and the E! Network, have employed The Von’s music in their telecasts. It is an impressive streak for a band only three years old and with a relatively slender discography to their credit. Their latest release is modeled along thematic lines – the title and number of songs refer to the band’s concept of the “trinity” – love, lust, and heartbreak or the past, present, and future set to music with a fiery and endlessly inventive rock and roll spirit.
Few songs this year are as unified as “I Know It’s Love”. It builds from a lean, electrified skeleton of guitar and understated percussion before striding into a full band performance bearing down hard on the listener. It is unquestionably rock and roll, but never sacrifices melody for power and instead achieves a keen balance between these elements. Luis Bonilla’s vocals alternate quite well between easily exerted power and technique – his vocals are emphatic, but he never loses his way with the phrasing. Bonilla’s bass work opens up the EP’s second track “Nature of the Beast” with drummer Elisa Seda and guitarist Marek Schneider following closely behind. Seda’s drums set an assertive tone from the outset and Schneider’s chiming guitar notes temper the physicality. Seda’s drums transform into some swinging percussion that gives the song some swagger, but The Von are astute enough to never lay their instrumental chops on too heavily. The lyrical material on this track, like the first, never becomes too wordy, but The Von are certainly far from content regurgitating the same tired themes that have been powering rock music since the days of Elvis.
The EP’s final track, “My Heart Machine”, is an appropriately theatrical ending to an EP high on dramatic value. Bonilla’s vocals have grit and gravitas alike that aren’t heard on the first two songs coupled with the same attention to melodic values that’s distinguished the band’s performance throughout the release. The mid tempo mood has plenty of lulls and mini-climaxes built into it, but after a couple of spins, it’s easy to hear the song’s construction shining through. The songwriting and band chemistry are the main highlights of 3nity, but this is far from a strictly cerebral exercise and there’s ample musical entertainment spread across the EP’s three tracks to justify The Von’s reputation as one of Southern Florida’s greatest rock exponents. There isn’t a single song recorded for this release that qualifies as filler. Instead, every song plays like product from a band determined to be all things to their audience and admirably succeeding.