When I am forced to be awake and functioning before noon, I turn into a grumpy bastard. I cough, hack, spit, swear and generally curse the hordes of bright eye people I stagger past on my way to class. Fuckers seem to think this a respectable time of day, well it isn’t ok. Usually I just wait until the waves of hate have been dulled by actually waking up, but sometimes all it takes is a little musical motivation.
Viva Viva have provided that exact motivation in order to turn be from a grumpy bastard into a one big happy panda. Viva Viva play a style of garage pop/punk, heavily steeping in 60’s and 70’s charm. It’s quick witted, sharp and cheerful, the exact opposite of my morning self. The mellow grooves and absolutely infectious melodies work wonders on dragging my ass into the sunlight and possibly, just possibly, cracking a smile in place of my usual grimace.
Their otherwise bubblegum sound is tempered by a healthy dose of the blues, that shines through lyrically and in some of the sharp, jabbing solos. It adds a welcome layer of depth, to what can become a superficial genre. Perhaps best shown on the albums “epic”, “Sympathy for the Devil’s Little Helper”, sees gritty vocals combined with some tasty licks, all drowned in a tasty helping of soul.
Tracks like “Little Dirty Angel” and “The Only Way to Live” are more traditional pop ballads, with strong echoes of melancholy and longing, complemented by a slower pacing and more melody driven approach. Personal favorites are the faster tracks with plenty of spunk, like “Heartbreak Sweepstakes” and “Valentine”. These are the tracks that but the bounce back in my step, a smile on my face and even a tiny bit of hope in my otherwise blackened heart.
Released in 2010, this self-titled album is a perfectly executed example of garage music done right, it’s catchy and playful, easy to listen to and easy to dance to, just the way things use to be.
It’s up for $10 on Bandcamp and probably on iTunes too, but I’m too lazy to check. So have yourself a wunnerful day, ok?