Release Date: Sep 12, 2006
Record label: Barsuk
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Viva Voce's latest, Get Yr Blood Sucked Out, could have added the subtitle, "And Let the Stoner Rock In." The Portland husband-and-wife duo of Anita and Kevin Robinson have swapped some of the spacier excursions of their previous records for enveloping layers of '70s guitar fuzz and blustery rhythms familiar to bong-hitters everywhere. Viva Voce have used these sounds before, but not to this extent. Yet this is stoner rock for the indie set, so every suggestion of Led Zeppelin or Queen gets filtered through a Sonic Youth or Yo La Tengo aesthetic, which helps keep the bombast and pagan iconography at bay.
While other married couples squabble over DIY, Anita and Kevin Robinson craft sonic conversations with melody and noise. Their third album finds them sounding like Arcade Fire crossed with the Velvet Underground, produced by Phil Spector, with handclaps. But the more extreme sounds peel away to reveal their most honeyed, direct songs yet. Believer is a gigantic Hey Jude stomp; Faster Than a Dead Horse and Special Thing glisten with plaintiveness.
For most young people in the Midwest, the roads that existed among the endless cornfields outside of town offered an escape. Driving along those roads, you could smoke, drink, make out, not be seen. And because they were laid out like grids, you couldn't get lost after drinking, smoking, and making out. Because this all took place in the Midwest, classic rock was almost always the soundtrack.