I don’t much like the way the last few posts have gone, I have to say. Blogger is doing something funny, in that it seems to suddenly cut the line spacing in half, after a few paragraphs, so my crystal-prose looks all muddled and squashed up. I have no idea why it does this, and no idea how to stop it doing it. Perhaps someone out there can illuminate me? (but until then, apologies, all).
Also not too keen on the way the downloads and streaming options from Promonet look. I think I’ll use it sparingly.
Anyway, here’s a new band from Harrow that I’m rather keen on at the moment called Viarosa. Well, I say they’re from Harrow (indeed they say they’re from Harrow), but you’d be forgiven for thinking they were from Death Valley or something, such is the full-on Americana style of their sound. Banjos, mandolins, pedal steels, all the good stuff, really.
I know, I know, English bands “doing Americana” are wide open to all sorts of criticism, (one of their reviews tries optimistically to talk about Anglicana, oh dear), but you’re best just forgetting where they come from and enjoy the music.
Though, it’s a fairly perverse sort of enjoyment, all very bleak stuff, full of dark dustbowl instrumentation and bleak, unbelievably intense lyrics, possibly best not listened to under certain circumstances, if you know what I mean. A rewarding listen, though, I think you’ll agree.
Top fact about Viarosa is that violinist Josh Hillman, also plays in Willard Grant Conspiracy, which by the standards of these pages makes him some sort International Superstar, and one who is surely on nodding terms with Neil Young, or at least Jeff Tweedy.
Viarosa have an album (Where the Killers Run) and an EP (Porous) available, and you can download the album from Emusic, here. I believe there’s another album in the offing too… Their website is worth a visit and they have two Myspace pages (here and here), streaming eight tracks in all.
The track I’m posting here, Call to Arms, is an example of what I mean when I say “intense”. Ever been in one of those situations where you don’t quite know how to end an awkward conversation with an earnest and slightly unpredictable character, who’s pinned you to the wall at a party? It’s a little like that, you find yourself slightly relieved that two very long minutes have come to an end.
But in a good way, of course…
Call to Arms