Bands to Watch #32: Viva Stereo

By on Tuesday, 30th September 2008 at 8:43 pm

Quite honestly, I’m not sure how to categorise Viva Stereo. Their new album, “Roar Lion Roar” manages to mix old and new influences and sounds, and ultimately ends up being one of the best album that the mainstream (probably) won’t hear this year.

The four guys in Viva Stereo have been around for a while – this is the third and final album in the trilogy of self-released albums that started in 2004, and whilst they haven’t received a tonne of press they really should have done going by this collection and the number of stars of the Scottish music scene who have collaborated to create “Roar Lion Roar”.

When the album starts up with “Another Night Out” it sounds like “Play”-era Moby demo, with vocals buried deep down in the mix, thumping drums a gentle groove that just yearns to be played over the “incredibly drunk late night collage” of some (rather good) indie film.

“Knee High Boots” (the free MP3 below) sounds like Glasvegas a year or so down the line… anthemic, accessible, slightly My Bloody Valentine and yet still so gorgeous.

Interestingly, whilst researching this piece I came across a piece from last April on the amazing Song, by Toad about Viva Stereo’s live performance, and was intrigued to see them described as a “deranged party mayhem bunch”, which certainly makes me want to go and see them (if only because of the juxtaposition of this description next to many of the tracks of the album) – if only I wasn’t so far down south and about 200 miles from their nearest show!

Their album is anything but a paint-by-numbers affair, with a myriad of influences, a vibrant range of instruments and sounds and quite honestly, one of the best this year of the “bands to watch series” – download the MP3 (now unavailable), and then go and buy their album if you can. You won’t regret it.

After the jump: we chat to Viva Stereo about their release.

Viva Stereo’s latest release, Roar Lion Roar is out on 10th November from the below record shops:
Aberdeen: One Up Records / Glasgow: Mono Records, Avalanche Records / Edinburgh: Avalanche Records / Leicester: Rockaboom Records / London: Rough Trade Records / Manchester: Piccadilly Records

Who’s in the band?
Tim Troup -Bass,
Doug Hendry – guitar,
Rob McKinlay – guitar,
Stuart Gray –vocals/synth.

How and where did you record the album?
The album was recorded mostly in a Glasgow studio called Diving Bell. However we recorded some of the tracks in our home studio first but had them remixed at Diving Bell. We also recorded one song at Chem19, Chemikal Undergrounds studio.

What are you upto at the moment?
Currently rehearsing for the live dates we have coming up.

What do you sound like?
Electro noise beat confusion

What’s coming up next year for you all?
Hopefully more gigs to promote the new album and possibly a single from it.

Why should we listen to you rather than every other new band out there?
We don’t try and follow any of the latest musical trends/fashions. So if you are looking for something a bit different rather than the latest NME endorsed sh*te then we’re sure you’ll enjoy us.

What’s your favourite song so far this year?
Stuart – Odeon Beat Club – ‘New Kate Moss’,
Doug –Malcolm Middleton -‘Love Comes in Waves’,
Tim – The Pictish Trail – ‘Into the Smoke’
Rob – Bobby Vinton – ‘Mr Lonely’

What other new bands / artists should we be checking out?
The Pictish Trail
Odeon Beat Club

Where can we see you playing next?
Friday November 7th, The Winchester Club, Glasgow.
Saturday 8th November Blue Lamp, Aberdeen.
Saturday 13th December: Sumo, Leicester

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