Viva Brother’s album has been out for a few weeks, and that’s given us the time to give it a really good listen. So, now we’re not kneejerking, what do we think?
It’s hard not to look at the history of Viva Brother and conclude a purposeful decision was made: make an impact by being utter, snarling, hateful bastards. And that part of the plan was entirely successful, earning them plenty of column inches, a deal with Geffen and instant indie recognition. It also left a substantial portion of their generation wishing they’d die on their arses and vanish.
So the boots that are giving Viva Brother their kicking were well raised before the album got here, but what’s it really like? If you grew up during Britpop, if you’re nostalgic for those Blur v Oasis battles, then this really isn’t that bad. Guitars jangle, the vocals are adequate, the sonic landscape is warm enough to indulge in for a while, and all those nineties moments of your life come flooding back. But For Viva Brother, that’s a problem: they straddle a middle ground that’s entirely pleasant. They’re nice. They’re familiar. And you get the feeling that this is utter anathema to every piece of bile Viva Brother spewed during their build up. This is the band who promised us “people are afraid to write massive songs that’’ sound good on the radio. We’re self elected to do that.”
But there is nothing massive here, just adequate imitation. So yes, if you can get this cheap enough, if you like that nineties sound, it’s worth your time. But don’t expect much more.
6 / 10 Out Now