It’s not even fair to call Viv, SPICE’s sophomore effort, a more mature record because this Los Angeles-based band made up of veterans of the industry sounded like seasoned pros on the their debut as is. So what is Viv? Boss level SPICE? A new evolution? Well, however you want to describe this ten track affair there’s no denying that it’s a powerful collection of poignant Alt and on par with the upward trajectory that SPICE has been traveling since debuting on the scene just a few short years back.
We compared a lot of SPICE’s debut to Bob Mould’s ’90’s band Sugar but with their continuing evolution, the band has metamorphasized into so much more on Viv with elements of Jawbreaker and Sunny Day Real Estate making their way into the mix and Victoria Skudlarek’s violin and voice becoming more present this time around as well.
But I digress!
“Recovery” is just some all around good Rawk and the perfect reintroduction to SPICE while “Any Day Now” has the feel of the self-titled all over over but elevated as Jake Casarotti’s frenetic drumming and off the beat pulses collide with the main guitar melodies to create a diabolical dichotomy. Next, “Ashes In The Birdbath” begins as a primal dirge and then settles into this moody mid-tempo number where Skudlarek’s strings really resonate and accent Ross Farrar’s words so much more.
“Threnody” is a thrashing thumper led off by Cody Sullivan’s moving bass with Skudlarek’s violin adding a different kind of weight to Ian Simpson’s guitars and Farrar’s impassioned delivery behind the mic and then “Dining Out” kindly crushes with waves on top of waves of guitar, bass, and drums being hurled at listeners earholes. “Live Scene” is a modern Alt-Rawk classic and the kind of song that you swear you’ve heard before but just can’t quite place it with “Vivid” being practically poetry in the way Farrar’s sing-song spoken word delivery grants access to the trippy, hypnotic sounds that emanate from within.
“Bad Fade” is a whole lotta awesome with these standalone guitar lines that speak to the soul topped by haunting strings and an iridescent chorus that brings Farrar and Skudlarek together for a truly transcendent trip that leads to some disparate parts coming together for the mesmerizing album ending track “Climbing Down The Ladder” as Farrar’s solemn words ring out and close this latest chapter of SPICE.
Viv drops on May 20th through Dais Records with pre-orders up now and available for your perusin’ in a plethora of formats when you click here. For the latest on SPICE, follow them across their socials when you head here, here, or here.