Viva Voce

I think I may just love Viva Voce right back! Husband and wife team, Anita and Kevin Robinson have produced a jaunty little jive of psych-pop, complete with handclapping catchiness and just enough jangly racket to give them an edge. It’s the Mamas and the Papas gone to the dark side (well, not very dark; but shadowy).

The album is built round a bubblegum pop centre, but layered with enough freewheeling guitar noise and a raucous concoction of instrumentation to keep things well away from syrupy territory. There are surprisingly high production values for something that clearly has no interest in being slick and the overall effect is infectious and thoroughly pleasing.

Opener ‘Wrecking Ball’ sets the tone with its healthy pop beat and catchy hooks. The standout track is the stomp-along ‘From the Devil Himself’, though it has stiff competition from closer ‘Faster Than a Dead Horse’, which gallops away in a furious squall of guitars. Slight weak spot is ‘High Highs’, which is a little bit to sweet and smiley for my palette; but as a low point, even that rates pretty highly.

Think Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, hint of My Bloody Valentine and a large dash of Fleetwood Mac. A little bit quirky and a little bit lovely.

Hannah Thompson