On 29th July 2016 the families of River Reeves, Jack Dakin, Kris Leonard, Tomas Lowe and Craig Tarry released Viola Beach’s self-titled album. At the beginning of the year I was one of lucky ones and got to interview them before they passed away in a tragic accident in February of this year. They were the first ever band I interviewed and for me they will always hold a special place in my heart. I have reviewed their other EP’s as they came out throughout the year so I will only be talk through the songs I haven’t talked about before in this post. There were a few more songs that the band hadn’t really shared with the world yet on the album. The ‘new’ songs have made it a little bit of an adventure when you listen to it.
I’m starting out with track 3, Go Outside. It has a very fun and Swings and Waterfalls vibe to it. Wispy guitars and kicking drums mixed up together makes it a very coastal song with essence of warm weather. The recurring lyrics add to the summer feel to the song and the warmth of it. In some parts of Go Outside it almost sounds oriental which is what I first really loved about it. The pace of the vocals also made me smile. From slow and standard to fast and fun! That really does sum up going outside and what Viola Beach where about. It’s a fabulous continuation from the previous song on the album, Like A Fool.
Drunk was another new song for me and other first time self-titled album listeners. At track 5 it is the midway on this 9 track album adventure and an insight into their terribly short lives. With a faster paced drum beat and a lot of vocal emphasis on the word Drunk it really shows a fairly new side. It shows a side to the boys that makes them seem more sophisticated and all grown up. It has the feel and noises of a long established band in the way its performed and put together. Drunk is one dramatic driving song filled with drums and drunk times.
Now next up on this album is Really Wanna Call You. This has a very clear Wombats inspiration behind it as they did mention in several interviews with both them and their family members that they were all big fans of them and The Kooks. I love how they have used their idols as a way of making their own music. If you like what you hear, why not make your own version of it? Really Wanna Call You is a relatable sing along dreamy dance tune and that makes you want to singalong to the catchy lyrics.
Following on from that foot tapping tune is Call You. This is the most mature song on the album that goes deep and personal but in their own way. Viola Beach are a band that can take any emotion and find a small fun part of it to make it seem alright to feel it. Call You is so passionately sung with such power and a common link that everyone has been in a situation similar. The head nodding drums gives an overwhelming emotional power to the song. I would say it’s on the emotion jerking level of Fix You by Coldplay with its collective flood of relatability.
The last ‘new’ song for this album that i have listen to many a time is Get To Dance. This was a BBC Session recorded late November last year in Maida Vale. I remember my friend sending it to me and telling me these guys where the next big thing and she was very very right. I quite like the raspyness of Kris’s voice and how rough it sounds. As this was a live session in some respects it shows you how well they performed and made music under a little pressure. As the second to last song on the album it really helps round it all off with an element of class and style!
Overall this 9 track long album shows how much they loved to perform and record, also how little time they had to do so. In every song they performed they put fun in it not matter how sad and meaningful they wanted to make it. there is always an element of fun which is what makes Viola Beach songs that little bit special and meaningful. They were a fun band who didn’t get the chance to make more people happy with happy fun music.
Buy the album here: http://violabeach.tmstor.es/
Read the other posts on Viola Beach here:
Viola Beach – Singles: https://redskyeblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/viola-beach-singles/
Viola Beach – Boys That Sing/Like a Fool: https://redskyeblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/viola-beach-boys-that-singlike-a-fool/
Viola Beach – Interview: https://redskyeblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/viola-beach-interview/
Viola Beach: Boys That Sang: https://redskyeblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/viola-beach-boys-that-sing/
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