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18th & Addison Releases “Vultures” EP

Photo by Matt Raspanti

On Friday, June 1, the duo 18th & Addison released their latest EP, “Vultures.” This EP follows the group’s other two releases, “Little Parasites” EP (2015) and Makeshift Monster album (2016).

18th & Addison consists of members Tom Kunzman and Kait DiBenedetto, of Toms River, N.J. Both do vocals and guitar for the group, with Kunzman also on bass and DiBenedetto on keys. The two joined together in late 2013 following the splits of their former bands.

Kunzman hails from punk band A Criminal Risk, while DiBenedetto comes from the band Just Kait. Now, the twosome’s main focus is their group 18th & Addison, although DiBenedetto is also guitarist in the band What’s Eating Gilbert, a side project created by New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert.

Their new release keeps it simple with four tracks, each illustrating sound similar to what they’ve done before while also adding a bit of new flavor for the group.

Vultures EP
Photo courtesy of 18th & Addison

“Not My Home” is the first track on the EP, and something notable about this song is that the group mentions “parasites” in the chorus, which references back to their first EP’s title “Little Parasites.” DiBenedetto takes most of the vocals on this song while Kunzman does more back-up along with a few solo moments.

As the title insinuates, the song talks about not fitting in, but also has a strong conviction in the chorus that it takes personal ambition/motivation to escape the situation. The chorus serves as a motivator that the subject is not to blame, but there is blame put on them if they do nothing about it.

“Time Bomb” is the group’s debut single from the EP featuring a music video that can be found on YouTube here. For this song, Kunzman’s vocals focus on the chorus as opposed to DiBenedetto, but DiBenedetto does strong back-up. The two switch off between verses, Kunzman covering the first while DiBenedetto does the second.

A stand-out moment is the bridge to the song which features a brief interlude before Kunzman launches back into the lyrics that started the song. However, instead of sounding forceful, his voice softens before transitioning to DiBenedetto’s vocals that go back to that assertive tone. This has a way of drawing the listener in even further to the message behind the song, which seems to be about a far-from-perfect relationship that is still desired despite the issues that one (or possibly both) of the individuals have.

“Waves,” the third track, sets a strong, instrumental pace from the get-go. This isn’t an oddity for the group, but it notably hits a faster pace compared to the first two tracks. It lends to the meaning of the song which, like the previous track, focuses on a tumultuous relationship. However, it narrows in on a different aspect: the insecurity that one partner instills in another, as opposed to both sides of the relationship possibly causing problems.

The lead vocals are a pretty fair balance of Kunzman and DiBenedetto in this one with Kunzman taking the beginning while DiBenedetto takes the second half of the song. Interestingly, in the middle of the song, they do an even split of the vocals, switching back and forth between the two as a transition to the bridge before the brief interlude.

“Bitter Half” concludes the EP. This fits because it acts as a conclusion to the rough relationship(s) referred to in the two previous songs. It talks about restarting a relationship, DiBenedetto singing, “back to the start” in the chorus and “just to find who we were to begin with” in the extension added to the second chorus.

There is also a reflection on the fact that the songwriter is tired of what’s been going on, which rounds back to the message of the first track on the EP: if one doesn’t like the situation, they should find a solution. Going back to the start seems like the solution to the issue in this song.

The vocal balance in this track is an interesting combo of the two singers. DiBenedetto takes the lead on the first chorus while Kunzman does back-up. Meanwhile, the second chorus flows seamlessly with the previous verse, sounding as if Kunzman takes the lead in this one alongside DiBenedetto, before it transitions back into DiBenedetto as the true lead.

Overall, the EP is a solid release and offers many stories depending on one’s interpretation. This is definitely impressive for it only having four tracks.

18th & Addison’s “Vultures” EP is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music. It is also for sale on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Music. Physical copies are available on their website here.

The group is currently on tour promoting the release of “Vultures.” Check out one or both of their shows this week if you happen to be close by.

Photo courtesy of 18th & Addison