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Wrecking Ball by Viva Voce

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Reviewed on 30th April 2007.


Wrecking Ball

By Viva Voce

This certainly sounds promising. An indie duo consisting of a female singer/guitarist and her husband drummer (who really can play nearly everything: drums, various percussion, keys, and - wait for it - a kazoo. And this is just for starters), turning out happy-go-lucky lo-fi music. Tell me more! Well, they've supported some great bands recently, including Death Cab For Cutie and The Shins, and are now releasing an album that sits somewhere between a re-release of the best songs from the three previous LPs and a premature greatest hits. And "Wrecking Ball" is the first single off this new album.

It begins so well, with a guitar riff reminiscent of late 60s and early 70s music, and for the first 40 seconds it seems to be building up to a miraculous throwback track. It even features some very retro clapping and a spot of tambourine which provide a strong rhythmic foundation for the track.

The entrance of the vocals dispels any misunderstandings. Although Anita Robinson's voice does have a tendency to sound a little uninspired, what really comes across as amateur - not to mention that it suggests a slight lack of musical imagination - is the way in which every verse phrase is punctuated with a frustrating whine from the synth. Any ground won by the guitar part has been lost in an impressive fashion.

Thankfully we are given relief from the aforementioned whine, when the whole song immediately picks up, becoming an indie fan's dream. Accompanied by a slightly unexpected, but very welcome, middle eight-style section ("style" as it is oddly stuck right on the end of the song), it finishes on a high note. It in fact ends so well that the awful synth is almost forgiven - although not forgotten.

It's just good, clean fun, and you can't say fairer than that.



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