Nervous Circuits - (1997)
The VSS is like a secret handshake. Namedropping the act locally will likely solicit one of two responses: a blank stare or the giddy recognition of a long-lost sibling. Since its breakup in 1997, the band has developed an underground following of rock cult elitists and purist vinyl collectors. Originating in Boulder, and later relocating to San Francisco, the four-piece became the stuff of local lore. Its frenetic live shows combined DIY lighting effects with the aural fascinations of drum machine- and synthesizer-fueled hardcore. Call it art punk, call it post-hardcore, call it Bad Brains with a Gary Numan twist—whatever it was, it was loud, aggressive, and forward-thinking for the times. For the procession of bands that came after—like The Blood Brothers and These Arms Are Snakes—The VSS was an unheralded cornerstone that helped to build that scene up and into the next decade.