Friday, 17 May 2013

Viva Mars - Yes, Indeed, You Are Right, That's It

Album review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


Does that little nod to the 'Pet Sounds' album cover mean that these Canadians are Beach Boys fans? It's possibly coincidence, but the melodic brand of guitar-pop they makes does share some of the same characteristics at times. They're fond of the odd harmony or two, that's for sure. 'Yes, Indeed, You Are Right, That's It' is the first part of a double album by Viva Mars and was made available to download in December, with the promise of the second half and a physical release sometime this year. The first section doesn't feel like only half a record, you could happily take it as it is, and you could maybe argue that two single albums would be easier for the listener to digest. Although in releasing part one months in advance of part two that is, in effect, what they've done.

In the simplest of terms, this punctuation-heavy album is indie/pop music in a fairy traditional sense. Most songs are built around guitar, bass, drums and vocals, although they're not afraid to add a wider range of sounds to drive the point home. This is first evident on the short, introductory title-track which contains (at a guess) another guitar-type instrument, possibly a ukulele, what sound like synths, assorted percussion and a heap of sighing voices. Of course these could all be production tricks, but either way, it shows a little ambition. Most of the rest of the album fits the pop/rock/indie format. At worst, some of the songs are simply quite good, and these would include the powerpop that doesn't quite get there of 'Pride' and the slightly lackadaisical 'Busy Busy Busy'.

At best Viva Mars show a high standard of writing and arranging. 'Some Far Off Place' is an accomplished piece, much like 'Uneasy' later on; 'Once Good Friends' could almost be a Super Furry Animals track; there's pensive, summery pop on 'Nothing Doing'; there's something approaching an epic centrepiece with 'Tender Dreams/Rotten Lover Song'. 'You Just Slept' is an example of where they do make their form of powerpop hit the mark. Overall this is a thoughtful and solid album and hopefully the second half lives up to this standard. When the full double album is released its title will be 'Yes, Indeed, You Are Right, That's It. But Of Course, Yes, Definitely, Right.' So we assume they're not expecting many reviews via Twitter.




Viva Mars' website

Stream or buy the album





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