Famous First Words - Viva Brother Album Review
When I reviewed Viva Brother's last single 'Still Here' they were just called Brother, the name change came about after being served with a legal writ while on tour in San Francisco, while they were on stage a man fought his way to the front of the crowd and threw the paperwork at bassist Josh Ward's feet and announced "You've been served." It is kind of ironic really because Viva Brother's front man Leonard Newell admitted they knew of another band called Brother and said "We knew about it but honestly we thought nothing about it because they were so small." It just goes to show arrogance is no excuse.
Anyway 'Famous First Words' was released on August 1st through Geffen Records and produced by the legendary Stephen Street but despite all the hype from the music press it only managed to chart at number 34, not great then for the so called 'Next big thing' or 'Saviours of British guitar music' so what do I think?
From the intro of 'New Year's Day' it clear this is music made by the 90s generation, and the entire album is simply dripping with Britpop swagger and envy, honestly it is like listening to band playing out Oasis Vs Blur. 'Electric Daydream' is done in typical Oasis style with a big chorus followed by a guitar solo while Leonard's vocals yearn to sound like Liam Gallagher, 'David' on the other hand is very much Blur, it bounces along with bending riffs and loads of "Ahhh Wahh Ahhh's" and "Ohhh Wah Ohhh's", sadly where the comparison ends is that Blur were considered a thinking man's band Viva Brother are not, with lyrics like "It takes a moron to know one and he knows me" it is not exactly genius.
Normally I would say any band that gets the attention of Stephen Street must be good and in some ways they are. They make the catchiest songs I have heard in ages and even if you don't like them you will have to sing along. It's hard to decide where I stand with these lads because I like music to have some depth and meaning, but I also like a band that says "F*%k Off, we'll play what we like and if you don't like it then tough" such a shame they couldn't be both.