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Mark Vennis and Different Place - "Small Town Vampire" Albums Yearns for Something Bigger

Small Town Vampire by Mark Vennis and Different Place cover art
Small Town Vampire by Mark Vennis and Different Place

Mark Vennis and Different Place have tapped into the frustration of small-town living with their latest album "Small Town Vampire." Through its punk/new wave sound, the album gives voice to feelings of being trapped and wanting more out of life. As evidenced in songs like "Same Old Story," Vennis pulls from his own experience growing up in a satellite town, feeling stagnant. 

Transitioning into the album's title track, Vennis spells out the dichotomy between "Small Town Vampire" and "big-time dreams." This tension occurs again in "Wild Suburban Boy" and "Slip These Chains," both sounding like cries to break free. While the lyrics convey anger and confinement, the music has a loose-limbed yet blue-collar vibe. Especially on "Slip These Chains," there's an emotional jam band feeling likely to resonate with fans of modern Ruts DC.  

Small Town Vampire
Mark Vennis and Different Place

Furthermore, Vennis' raw voice adds to the album's accessibility, bringing Craig Finn to mind. Lines like "you're picking up the pieces of what you dreamt your life to be" powerfully sum up the confusion of aiming for more than your surroundings offer. Given this relatable frustration, many listeners will connect with the idea presented in "That Familiar Feeling of Falling” – that contentment and happy endings remain elusive.  

While not necessarily uplifting, "Small Town Vampire" gives voice to feelings many have but cannot articulate. Vennis and Different Place have captured small-town restlessness in a unique way that is sure to resonate. With its driving punk/new wave fusions and gritty vocals, this album authentically expresses the “seething anger of living in the shadows of a big city.”




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