Voxtrot - Voxtrot
The self-titled debut from Austin’s Voxtrot is a breath of sweet relief. After addicting a devoted fan-base to their retro Britpop with a string of critically-acclaimed EPs, Voxtrot had much to live up to. 2005’s Raised By Wolves EP introduced the world to front-man Ramesh Srivastava’s energetic yearning vocals, singing of youthful exploits and backed by ridiculously catchy indie instrumentals. Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, and Wives followed in 2006, and Your Biggest Fan rounded out the year—both digging up more sides to the indie-pop outfit and subsequently adding more fans. Drenched strongly in Belle & Sebastian stylings, Voxtrot’s string of EPs combined summery melodies with a vintage feeling that deliciously sounded more British than Texan. Their debut LP follows in the same light and many tracks could have been snatched directly from the early EPs. “Ghost,” for example, is remarkably reminiscent of “Trouble” off Your Biggest Fan. Srivastava’s tongue-twister vocal style remains, as do the carefree melodies. “Steven” and “Kid Gloves” smack of Voxtrot’s characteristic exuberance, culminating in the off-beat explosiveness of “Firecracker.” A clear hit off the release, “Brother in Conflict” is a blisteringly fast-paced juxtaposition of loud/soft effects concluding with the repetition of Srivastava’s introspective declaration: “I had to lose my idols to find my voice.” This use of loud/soft dynamics is frequently used by Voxtrot. Also found in the first single off the LP – the exuberant “Blood Red Blood” – it is also common within the earlier EPs. In fact, Voxtrot finds little change if any at all in the Austin quintet—besides being given a larger canvas to work upon. Not that this is a bad quality. The Austin quintet led its fans on with tantalizing glimpses of a playful, exhilaration sound—and their fans in turn cried for more. So Voxtrot has delivered. This LP is the culmination of Voxtrot’s evolution, eleven tracks that are the best of an old brew, one that was already scrumptious to begin with. Just turn to Srivastava’s delicate piano-laced introspection in “Real Live Version” and find me a rival in their history. A clear peak in their talent, Voxtrot’s sunny Britpop indie is still deliciously digestible and will surely satisfy their fans’ grasping hands…for now.
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