If suburban social mores could be projected onto a slightly psychedelic, lo-fi rock band, well, Viva Voce would have some mighty proud parents. Where the band’s first three albums have been met with the likes of classification somewhere between the lines of fuzz-pop and stoner chic – Get Yr Blood Sucked Out, the duo’s fourth full length offering, certainly doesn’t stray far from that but offers evidence that their interests have varied, if only slightly, from pot to pop.
Watch the Viva Voce video for From The Devil Himself , off the album Get Yr Blood Sucked Out while you read this review... click on the play button in the Galaxy Media Player above and to the right.
Get Yr Blood Sucked Out finds the husband and wife duo, Kevin and Anita Robinson, comfortably scaled back in their approach. The songs, while almost uniformly adhering to a similar tempo, are replete with a down home warmth and generosity that carry with them a certainly fireside aesthetic. In the age old Viva Voce kind of way, Anita’s guitar is the musical centerpiece throughout the entire album. Of course, she still remains anything but a soloing egotist, yet when the otherwise mellow pop sensible melodies deteriorate and stumble headfirst towards noise jam territory; her guitar is the recurring instigator.
However, the pair know well enough that some songs can remain unfettered by the feedback roar of stoner fuzz and are content to exist simply as well meaning and expertly crafted pop songs. Tracks like From the Devil Himself are acoustically driven, hand clap passangered, bits of rock pop brilliance that themselves are standalone testaments to the bands praise worthy musicianship as well as they are tailor-fitted pieces in the greater scope of the whole record. And that scope, while cohesive, is anything but narrow.
While the album stays rooted primarily in pop in a similar vein as The Pixies or even Yo La Tengo there is enough variety and tone to keep the record interesting from song to song. Aside from the musical textures that dance around piano melodies and hint at times with a rootsy flair, the vocal mélange set in motion by the near even divide of lead vocals between Mr. and Mrs. Robinson is an effective element that keeps the band from sounding stale throughout the 12 songs.
Overall, Get Yr Blood Sucked Out is a wonderful bit of pop magnetism – though it may not be the definitive work of this near decade old duo, it’s certainly worth a few spins, a couple hand claps and a whole lot of good times.