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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Viva Voce

The Future Will Destroy You

Review by Gary Hill

Viva Voce are a duo made up of husband and wife Kevin and Anita Robinson. Certainly this album doesn’t fit under the progressive rock heading in terms of the old school form of prog. It’s very much rooted in alternative rock, psychedelia and modern prog. Still, it’s music that certainly progresses and it has such a diverse musical palette, that I can’t see it fitting anywhere else. The truth is, no matter how you classify this CD, it’s a great disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Plästic Rädio

Older progressive rock like Pink Floyd merges with newer sounds like Radiohead on this killer jam. There’s also a bit of Latin percussion in the mix. It has a mellower, more pop oriented electronica section with retro sounds as a contrast to the harder rocking sections. It’s a cool way to start the album in style.

Analog Woodland Song
Europop blends with more of that rather Radiohead like sound here. This is a bouncy little number that’s pretty cool.
Diamond Mine
This moody piece combines modern alternative pop with retro textures in a motif that’s atmospheric and very cool.
Black Mood Ring
Another tune with a lot of atmosphere, this rocks out pretty hard in alternating bits between mellower, more textural sections. There’s a cool, echoey, retro tinged space rock styled movement later that’s especially tasty.
No Ship Coming In
Acoustic guitar opens this in a catchy little arrangement. When the vocals join we get some intriguing layers of sound alongside it. This has a very cool arrangement and is poppy, but also very proggy in terms of its atmospheres and textures. There’s a cool slow moving guitar solo around the minute and a half mark for an intriguing bit of flavor. A later instrumental section brings in more layers of cool.
The Future Will Destroy You
Percussion brings the title track in and then a grinding sort of harder rocking sound takes it from there. The vocals are processed and cool. Although this number is less prog oriented than some of the other stuff, there’s a vocal hook section with progressive rock tendencies. There’s also a short little Led Zeppelin like section and a tasty guitar solo movement.
Cool Morning Sun
I really love the vocals on this piece. It feels a lot like a retro pop rock song that could have come out in the early part of the 1970s. They are some intriguing textures of sound that bring some prog to the table. This is possibly my favorite cut on show. It’s mellow, but it’s also very evocative and emotionally powerful.
We Don't Care
Alternative rock and pop are merged with a real country music kind of element on this cool track. The drum machine sound is a little annoying, but the music and vocals that are over the top are powerful enough to make up for that shortcoming. There’s also a bit of European café music laced in here later.
A Viking Love Song
This is another contender for best track on the disc. Pop rock elements and shoe gaze is combined with noisy psychedelia that occasionally nods to Jimi Hendrix. This is just a really cool tune.
The Wondering Soul
Parts of this track are set in a mellow, alternative rock meets prog ballad approach. There’s a slow, crunchy section that provides the contrast to that section. Still, whatever you call it, this thing is pretty awesome. It’s a great choice for album closer.
 
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