Album: Viva Voce <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

Few duos - The White Stripes included - make as dense and richly-textured a noise as Kevin and Anita Robinson, the Portland, Oregon-based couple who record as Viva Voce. This follow-up to last year's acclaimed The Heat Can Melt Your Brain is another delirious mash-up of psychedelic rock, close-harmony vocals and catchy, poppy hooks that invites comparison with all manner of colourful stitches from rock's rich tapestry, from The Mamas & The Papas' airy folk-rock, through the dreamy, opiated indie-rock of Mazzy Starr and Mercury Rev, to the full-on krautrock motorik of Neu! that drives the chugging "So Many Miles", one of the stand-out tracks here. It's a rawer sound than their previous releases, with titles like "When Planets Collide", "From The Devil Himself" and "We Do Not Fuck Around" giving some idea of the apocalyptic themes investigated; but these tougher moments are balanced by the affirmative attitude of "Special Thing" and "How To Nurse A Bruised Ego", and "Bill Bixby", which soothes the ear like the palate-freshening sorbet between the courses of a meal.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'So Many Miles', 'We Do Not Fuck Around', 'From The Devil Himself', 'Special Thing'