Viva Voce – The Future Will Destroy You

January 01, 1970

(Vanguard)

 

         www.vanguardrecords.com/

 

The rocking Robinson’s have
regrouped and returned with their sixth full-length album, after a quick
turnout with colleagues in their Blue Giant alt-country side project, they
aren’t exactly your proverbial musical knee-highs. Fellow Alabaman’s Kevin and
Anita, now Portlanders for many years, labored on this project in their home
studio, writing, playing, recording, mixing and producing it all by their
lonesome.  The end result is some of the
most heartbreakingly lush and lovely music of their career. Kevin drums and
sings, and Anita plays the hell out her guitar and renders vocals like nobody’s
business. Anita compares having a studio to “like owning a sort of lab, where
you can experiment and create beautiful mutations of sound. Or, create vile
noise, I guess, ‘cause I happen to enjoy both!”

 

 A lot of the magic does happen in the
production and mixing, adding dimensions of depth and spatiotemporal qualities
to their songs.  Listeners may first want
to tether themselves down, as not to float away. One marvels at how they
constantly develop their unique blending of pop, indie-rock, neo-folk and
psychedelia into the wholly singular sound that defines Viva Voce.

 

On the first track, “Plastic
Radio,” they struck far-out-sound gold when they figured out how to chain
several amps together for a rather weird multi-guitar effect. They were
delighted with the results, so much so as to recognize it as their top
candidate for album opener. “Analog Woodland Song” is alone worth the price of
admission. It envelops you in a tidal wave of molten marshmallow tremolo, then
Kevin’s voice melds with Anita’s, soothingly urging you to “get some peace and
quiet.” The title song, “The Future Will Destroy You” opens with just a naked
drum beat that chugs along throughout the tune, in a dirge-y march step.
Anita’s overdubbed guitar parts go from ethereal to authoritative, with her
vocals muted in echo and reverb. Anyone familiar with The Black Angels’ Phosphene Dream will have an idea of
what the overall effect is.  In fact, I
suspect that fans of spacey, drone-y music like the Angels or Dum Dum Girls
produce, will feel right at home with Viva Voce, even though the ‘60s retro
vibe is mostly absent.  “Cool Morning
Sun” really sounds like a Dum Dum Girls number, very lush and iridescent in its
production, and Anita’s singing hauntingly siren-like. “Diamond Mine” slips
into that DDG pigeon-hole as well, with its girl-group pastiche.

 

Viva Voce (defined as ‘a spoken
message’, ‘with living voice’ or ‘word of mouth’) can be a challenge to do
justice to descriptively, so here’s a second opinion, from their PR sheet: “You
might not hear a ballad this year lovelier (or spookier) than “No Ship Coming
In.” in which Anita’s vocals glide over a pool of shimmering space-roots
atmospherics.” I suspect a discerning listener will find the album as trippy
and relaxing as slipping into a soothing hot tub after imbibing in some sticky
bud. If the future is out to destroy
you, I say settle back, crank up the volume and enjoy the inevitable.

 

 

        DOWNLOAD: “Analog
Woodland Song,”  “Plastic Radio,” “Black
Mood Ring” BARRY ST. VITUS

 

 

Free download of Analog Woodland Song –  http://vanguardrecords.com/downloads/Viva+Voce

 

         

 

Leave a Reply