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The Surface has been scratched EP by Viva Stereo

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Reviewed on 19th April 2004.


The Surface has been scratched EP

By Viva Stereo

Sounding like the bastard love child of Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie and Death In Vegas' Richard Fearless, Viva Stereo are cooking up quite a sound.

'Jesus Son', the first track here, sounds like the track that never made it on to XTRMNTR by Primal Scream for not being weird enough. And that's saying a lot, seeing as how it has the pounding drums, the thrashy guitars, the odd synth noises and the snarling vocals that made that particular album so very eclectic and enjoyable.

'Severed Head' is again, a product of its two main influences. The main loop circles round and around some slow 4/4 beats; the vocals are delayed/ reverbed to infinity, and the backing vocals are awash in a dreamy haze of melancholy, to crate the perfect soundtrack to being smacked off your tits on various Class A substances. It's the Jesus & Mary Chain for a whole new generation. A mesmerising, excitingly trippy experience.

'One Last Cigarette, One Last Call' (my god that's a cool title) is next, and sounds so very different to the previous two it's hard to tell that it's the same group. Featuring some synth strings, some wispy acoustic guitar and some harsh break beats; it's a pleasant slice of diversity for the EP. Imagine 'Scorpio Rising' era Death In Vegas, with added samples and excitement, and you're bang on. It's great stuff, really melodic and dynamic.

'Junk' is the last song here, and going by its title, I was probably right about the whole Class A drug reference. The track, however, is unlike anything you'd hear whilst kissing the sky. Lazy beats and little guitar riffs are complemented by the (far too loud) vocals, until the real drums kick in and the slide guitar rears its head. Wow, now there's a transformation I like. Catchy, funky and cool as the proverbial cucumber, it's another quality tune in the Viva Stereo arsenal.

It's maybe too easy to say that Viva Stereo are just another band trying to be someone else (in this case, Primal Scream) but there's too much of themselves in this EP to simply write them off as a glorified tribute act. It's about time bands stopped tying to be rock stars and just concentrated on the music. And, as their name suggests, Viva Stereo are all about the tunes.



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