Viva Viva: Viva Viva – It was a little difficult for me to figure out what to make of this album at first, but then I realized that this nothing particularly special, only alternative rock that seemed to take a few cues from Vampire Weekend in certain places (it isn’t obvious at first, but the influence is there) and punk rock. The rest of the time it seemed to be just generic rock, with a few tracks that were above average. That being said, I don’t think it is worth making any special trip for.
Vigri: Pink Boats – This band tries to go for a big sound with mostly slow tempos and ballad-like songs. This would be great if they didn’t try to do it for an entire album. The music is all right, but there are bands that have already achieved (U2 comes to mind) what this record tries to achieve. It also had a tendency to go onward for more than was welcome, with me wondering when it was going to end. At this point I realized that there was little reason to recommend this album to anyone.
Vertical Bridge: Never Too Late – This is somewhere between AD/DC and metal, except with some songs of a slower tempo and lower volume added for variety. Like many albums I review, I find little fault in it except that it is highly derivative of what has come before it and has nothing to really add. The first thing that popped into my head was AC/DC, instead of trying to figure out what this band was going to sound like. It is good, but unless you are a big fan of this type of music, you can probably give it a pass without any guilt.
The Belle Brigade: The Belle Brigade – This band lies somewhere in between various flavors of southern and indie rock, and succeeds greatly. It isn’t as strong in the middle of the album, but then it picks right back up again and exceeds the listener’s expectations. Also included are some really wonderful melodies that feel fresh and vibrant in music. Some of the best songs on it were “Sweet Louise,” “Belts of Orion,” and “Fasten You To Me,” all very different from each other, yet still excellent. It’s probably worth it for you to get this album.
The Black Shades: Told Ya So – This band takes the books of The Strokes and Jack White and just runs with it. Even the lyrics sound like they could’ve been written by White in places, and it is only the mild Strokes influences that prevent it from becoming a carbon copy; the low-fi sound is the first thing you really notice. That being said, this EP is really fun rock and roll to listen to, and every cut here is solid. It’s a cool set of songs and I recommend it to fans of either of the above-mentioned artists.