# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Varvara - Death Defying Tricks

  by Keith How

published: 22 / 12 / 2016

Varvara - Death Defying Tricks
Label: Haminian Sounds
Format: CD


High tempo but slightly puzzling third album from alternative rock outfit Varvara

Hailing from Hamina in Finland Varvara, who take their name from the statue of a war hero in their home town, release a third album on the back of a growing reputation in their homeland. 'Death Defying Tricks' is slick and tight, full of close harmonies, catchy licks and over driven guitars. Opening track 'Sons' is a good start with raw guitars and uncluttered production and is followed by 'Caught' which is actually more of the same, blistering high octane power pop. It is a promising beginning but by track 7 'Shadow of Mistrust' I am under the impression that maybe the band’s originality has been watered down into a hybrid of, say, the Hives/Green Day/any other AOR mid-‘90’s American “rock” band. A little research reveals that the album was mixed by Pelle Gunnerfeldt, the legendary guitarist in alt-rock band Fireside. I wonder if this is why the whole album feels predictable and formulated. Gunnerfeldt seems to have used every trick in the book to make this perfect. Certainly 'Tricks' is punchy power pop at its finest with the six piece band firing on all cylinders. The band are driving hard, ducking and diving in and out of high tempo riffs and metronomic drumming without stopping to take breath. 'Since We Can’t Explain' has great vocals and is an epic symphony reflecting on a fading relationship that will have festival goers waving in unison. The album closes with 'Crossed My Mind' which uses every cliché in the book, dynamically pausing before powering back in to the final moments. 'Death Defying Tricks' at its best is exhilarating. The band are neat and tidy. Nothing is out of place but for me perhaps just a little smooth. With Finland’s reputation for church burning death metal bands, Varvara make a refreshing alternative and are well worth a listen.

Track Listing:-
1 Sons
2 Caught
3 Warning Sign
4 Headlights
5 Human Being
6 No Reason
7 Shadow of Mistrust
8 Arrows
9 Since We Can't Explain
10 Crossed My Mind

Band Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

digital downloads


most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors