Viva Voce - Faster Than A Dead Horse (Full Time Hobby)
20 Dec 2006
"although their current wares are all well and good, it remains to be seen why we should bother paying them too much attention when, on this evidence at least, they themselves don't seem particularly interested in pushing it anywhere..." - release - '06
You'll have to excuse me, I've just watched a programme called 'How Music Works'. Everything sounds good on this one.
The main girth of the song consists of a rolling, laid back simplicity, with brilliant accented drums following the niggling hook lines. The melody rolls down the fret board until it hits the drums, bouncing you immediately back to the top again to sit with that melody, ready to descend once more. This pattern is broken up by off beat and brilliantly crazy guitar solos which sit atop the spiralling tune (quit now if this isn't describing something you'd enjoy, as it continues in just this manner). The two note guitar chords along with a bass sound sitting just in the middle of the register help to comprise that classic gritty yet tight sound. Yes, everything here is very cool.
But... they could have so easily taken it further. With a great riff and good sounds on their side we get the feeling they could have done anything with this one, and other than the weird electronics at the end they choose to play it safe, something which is an awfully frustrating waste of the potential of this song. Viva Voce have really given themselves the leeway to do something really crazy and remain accessible enough that people will listen to it. I'm all for simplicity in the right context, but not this one guys. The only way they could have got this song to maintain it's excitement is to have kept it really short, but some how it seems to drag out over two and a half minutes, a time which seems a lot longer than it actually is.
There doesn't feel like there's much more to say. Yes, you'll probably be intrigued to hear the album, and may come to the conclusion that Viva Voce would be quite nice as a casual live experience, but the nagging feeling remains that they may just not be aware of quite the potential they've got. Although their current wares are all well and good, it remains to be seen why we should bother paying them too much attention when, on this evidence at least, they themselves don't seem particularly interested in pushing it anywhere.