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Recensione album

Voxtrot's eponymous debut LP doesn't quite match the frenetic energy and unencumbered potential of their previous EPs, although it still shows a band with a clever knack for memorable hooks and a musical maturity that belies their relative inexperience. The immediate difference between Voxtrot and their Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives, Your Biggest Fan, and Raised by Wolves EPs is the ill-advised string section, which turns Ramesh Srivastava's already hopelessly cornball (although still endearing) lyrics into the utterly maudlin and at times gag-worthy. His already pronoun-heavy lyrics are meant to engage the listener with a sense of universality, but "Real Life Version" — featuring only a piano and the aforementioned string section — is so schmaltzy it wouldn't look out of place on a Dan Fogelberg record, or the big kiss scene of a romantic comedy film. Therein lies the rub with Voxtrot; as frequently as Srivastava's lyrics can annoy, he's still a unique songwriter in today's emotionally reticent indie landscape, so whenever the band hits their stride the results are tremendously lively and refreshing. Most of these marks are hit on the first seven songs. "Introduction" is a rich opener, despite the generic title, and segues into "Kid Gloves," the song that best recapitulates their previous material. It jumps quickly from verse to refrain, and packs too many ideas into a mere four minutes. The lyrics are strong here as well, including the memorable "cheer me up/cheer me up/I'm a miserable f**k/cheer me up/cheer me up/I'm a tireless bore." "Ghost" begins with a piano intro similar to Van Halen's "Right Now," yet quickly exposes its heart as a somber track befitting a Wolf Parade record, only dragged down by the building strings in the background. "Stephen" is a light-hearted Ben Folds song in disguise, while "Firecracker" and "Brothers in Conflict" form the hard rocking, aggressive middle section. On the latter, Srivastava opens with the macabre line "I wanna drown you in a pool of blood." Like much of the record, "Brothers in Conflict" starts off unimpressively, yet builds to a thrilling climax in the final minute when the drums of Matt Simon and heavy bass of Jason Chronis take over from the limp string section. It's more electrifying than anything from their previous EPs, if only because they are no longer mining their Smiths and Belle & Sebastian influences and carving their own niche as a group. Made up of entirely new material (as opposed to Wolf Parade's Apologies to the Queen Mary, which featured tracks from their EPs), Voxtrot really sputters to the finish line, especially after the climactic and optimistic half-way marker "Easy." Voxtrot were ill-advised to expand their sound with strings and horns only because the innocence of Srivastava's lyrics and vocals requires a more delicate, simplistic touch.


Formato(a): Austin, TX

Genere: Alternativa

Anni di attività: '00s

Although they hail from Texas, Voxtrot's animated indie pop easily receives comparisons to Belle & Sebastian and similar European groups. In between studying in Scotland, frontman Ramesh Srivastava founded the project and soon decided to pursue the band full-time in Austin, TX, being joined by Jared Van Fleet (guitar/keyboard), Matt Simon (drums), Mitch Calvert (guitar), and Jason Chronis (bass). Garnering considerable buzz from bloggers as well as high-profile magazines before even releasing...
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Voxtrot, Voxtrot
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