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Viva Stereo - The Surface Has Been Scratched

  by Jon Rogers

published: 10 / 4 / 2004

Viva Stereo - The Surface Has Been Scratched
Label: Viva Stereo
Format: CDS


Debut EP from new Scottish four piece, which unfortunately wears its Primal Scream and Jesus and Mary Chain influences a little too openly on its sleeve

The PR hype calls the lead track 'Jesus Son' on this the band's fourth EP a "classic dwarf-trod anthem". If anyone actually knows what that means please enlighten Pennyblackmusic. Otherwise the song is a fine example of wearing your influences on your sleeve - it reeks of an 'Xtrmntr' era Primal Scream outtake. I.e. one that the band would have ditched for simply not being good enough. Then when they've finished being Scream copyists they try a spot of Jesus and Mary Chain posturing. Except that William and Jim Reid did it so much better in the first place. And the same situation persists on 'Severed Head' too. Then just when you're about to dismiss the whole thing as second-hand, derivative rubbish up pops 'One Last Cigarette, One Last Call'. Far from a masterpiece it does contain some thought and originality and slows the pace down, throws in some subtle textures and meanders along but never looses sight of simmering despondency. The EP concludes with 'Junk' which is just simply crap. One out of four just isn't good enough.

Track Listing:-
1 Jesus Son
2 Severed Head
3 One Last Cigarette, One Last Call
4 Junk

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Optimism Is Not A Curse (2004)
Engaging debut album from new Glaswegian band, Viva Stereo, which recalls both Primal Scream and the Velvet Underground

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