This will be no version of Old Yeller. I’m just going to lie this on the table. They’ve broken up. I know. Way to tell us the ending Greg! Way to ruin it for us. But hey, we’re all adults here, maybe not mentally, but at least by our driver’s licenses.
I consider this a great privilege to be able to review Viva! If only to reminisce when rock could rock and people wore flannel, get your hands on this album. With apparent influences rooted in the 90’s I’m satisfied with a modern fix of the late sound. It is sad we need to dig down to local venues to find bands such as La Cha Cha.
To consider them “local” is simply a label thrust upon them by the injustices that sometimes plague record companies. We are living in a day when most record labels are simply a subsidiary of larger labels, looking at you Warner Bros. and Columbia. But fear not my music loving friends. Alas, there is hope! When bands are tired of playing the rat race game, they venture out and find indie record labels. Now if only we could direct one of them at this talented group of gents.
As we learned with most of the sound that came from the 90’s, lets not get our hopes up too much. Vocally there isn’t a lot of depth here. I am, however, going to chalk that up to simply the production of the album. I am certainly not saying that Larren Wolford, the lead singer, is lacking as a front man. But I do think the gem here lies in the guitar and bass. Larren teams up with Chad Kauppi to deliver some seriously memorable riffs. Each song seems meticulously pieced together. Back this up with Chad Wiser on drums and LArren CHAd CHAd will entertain your ears with an almost forgotten, but never forgettable, style of pure rock.
My first opinion was that since they’re a “local” band, it must have taken an extraordinary amount of time (or he has been writing these songs since he was 16) to put this type of fluidity together. Yet, as the album progresses it almost seems effortless. The first few tracks gave me a “meh” feeling which promptly progressed into a feeling of rockness. It needs to be acknowledged that this is not your run-of-the-mill 3 chord, drum machine band. This is a band record labels need to be on the lookout for. They need to sign more bands like this.
Allow me to pull out my trusty music blender here and evaluate what I’d throw into this mix. Lyrics that borderline Thom Yorke-ish (Sorry Liam Gallagher), side of first album Third Eye Blind, splash of noodly guitar effects from Incubus, and some salt to taste. If that sounds like a beverage you’d like to sit down with, then pull up a stool next to me and enjoy the stay.
Seattle passed the torch to Portland. Keeping the Pacific Northwest in the picture, if Spokane can continue to produce bands like this, the torch may be headed inland. This album falls somewhere between local greatness and potential national breakout. Although we may never see another new compilation from them, let this be a base for what can be. I will definitely keep Viva! In my library and enjoy them for many moons to come.