VIVA VOCE – Lovers, Lead The Way! (Asthmatic Kitty Records)

After reading a very positive review of this band in Record Collector, a quick search of the net alerted me to the fact that they had released two albums, and were poised to issue a double 7” package this month. A free download of the lead track of that single prompted me to investigate those albums immediately, and this is the second of the two. It includes three tracks which will later appear on the single, so I was fairly safe in assuming that the music would be similar to the sample, and it has proved to be just as good as I has hoped. What I liked about the track I heard was the melding of two such disparate styles as a heavy rock fuzz guitar and a fey vocal, but it worked, and continues to do so on the rest of the album. Anita Robinson’s voice recalls bands such as The Primitives, The Darling Buds or The Flatmates, while husband Kevin’s guitar is more like The Jesus And Mary Chain. When Kevin takes lead vocal on ‘Red D-Lish’ the band bear a striking resemblance to The Fieldmice, and considering these comparisons I can safely say that this album should appeal to anyone who remembers these indie bands from the 80’s. ‘Brightest Part Of Everyone’ is a showcase for Kevin’s guitarwork, and the lengthy ‘Yr Epic Heart’ is an atmospheric guitar extravaganza. Things taper of slightly towards the end of the album, with ‘Salsalito’ and ‘Someplace Worth Being’ consisting of mainly voice and acoustic guitar, although they do end on an unusual note, with the trip-hop beats of ‘Let’s Bend Light’ being quite unlike anything else on here. There are some catchy tunes on show, although I don’t think ‘That’s Right,…Watch Out!’ or ‘The Tiger And How We Tamed It’ are chart fodder, which I hope ‘Alive With Pleasure’ will be as this band deserve some recognition. If you want to sample them then log on to
and hear for yourself.