According to New York band Viva, their latest album, Rock and Roll Lover is a tribute to rock and roll's power to transform anger into beauty and making life's trials and tribulations worthwhile. That's heady stuff quite honestly, but Viva take it all on and armed to the teeth with a seven piece band that includes a full horn section. Coming close to sounding like female fronted Blues Brothers without the black suits or the soul. Rock and Roll Loveris jammy, dancey rock and roll that's overflowing with potential but really comes off sounding like some sort of Hedwig and the Angry Inch tribute band without the hits.
While Viva is riddled with potential, they just don't quite have the songs yet. What they do have is a somewhat overly theatrical vocalist who's vocal gymnastics make much of Rock and Roll Lover sound like it belongs in a musical as opposed to a grotty, dirty bar deep within New York's dark recesses. That being said, the one really cool highlight of Viva is their horn section. These guys are awesome players who lend their brassy sounds to songs all over the place and give Rock and Roll Lover a sense of depth and coolness that practically hold the tunes together. While the horns only add to the theatrical nature of the record, they just sound amazing and really, who doesn't like a killer horn section?
Rock and Roll Lover isn't bad, but it's songs are just lacking that "something," that makes me want to listen to it over and over again. It's theatrical nature and overwrought vocals tend to wear thin after a while and it makes it hard to want to go back and listen to them all over again. While they're not bad...quite honestly, I'd take Hedwig over this lot...at least for now.