Review Summary: Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Likes: 80s skateboard socks, Strange Brew(movie), setting off firecrackers, imported beer and good music
Dislikes: Modern radio
Wow that was fast. This totally legit website found me someone already. I wonder who it found after only two questions?
Match Name: Viva Voce
Reason: They also hate the radio.
I knew it was love at first sound when the opening track repeatedly croons, “smash that radio” over a beautifully reverbed guitar run. That song, Plastic Radio, offers a good first impression of this Portland couple’s sixth album. Viva Voce has returned as a wounded animal this time around. The light heart has become heavy and major chords have been replaced by minor. Lyrical themes of independence and doubt flow through many of this albums ten songs but the overall message is clear; The Future Will Destroy You.
Pulling back from the objective lenses there have been a few discoveries to ponder. From a distance the music can resemble the Greek hydra with the many different styles of music appearing as a multi headed fight for internal dominance . However the music on the slide appears to be of just one DNA. Meaning that while this band is an amalgamation of competing musical styles the members work together well enough to create a dynamic and unique listening experience.
Husband Kevin Robinson accounts for the folk section of the band. He plays rhythm acoustic guitar and is decent on the drum kit, often at the same time. He also is often found providing vocal harmonies for his better half. Anita Robinson then brings her own style of heavily distorted lead guitar into the mix. Her guitar playing is the highlight of the album and she plays it well by layering trippy yet sparse riffs in and out of the songs. On top of which she adds spacey vocals straight from the chillwave genre. Combining these opposing styles together they create ornate soundscapes full of moody intentions.
In latin Viva Voce can be translated to ‘word of mouth’. If that was their intention its an ill fitting isotoner at this point in their career. Its the instruments that do the legwork this time around. The impending doom you feel is not only a product of the vocal mantras but of the glacial claustrophobia brought on by the intertwined musicians. Often times the tracks burn on long after the vocals are over. So much so that the two breezy tracks here are that much more effective in an 'eye of a hurricane' sort of way. Its best to jam this with your fancy socks up, drinking good beer and waiting for the end to come.