Review: Voxtrot’s Long-Awaited LP

Voxtrot

I’ve been harboring somewhat of a perma-crush on Voxtrot ever since I interviewed the band’s frontman, Ramesh Srivastava, back in October. My mind spoke in exclamations as I devoured the band’s EPs: Indie rock without pretension! Dance-worthy music that isn’t brainless! A desi musician who doesn’t feel the need to do “fusion”!

Voxtrot has followed a somewhat unusual release schedule. When the band signed with Beggars Group in 2006, it surprised fans by following up its first two self-financed EPs with yet another shortened album rather than the long-awaited full-length record. The band members took their time getting there, so I was beyond excited when I learned that Voxtrot was finally releasing a LP, and even more excited when I learned I could get my hands on that self-titled album (due today, May 22).

Voxtrot album cover

But I have mixed reactions to the album. It starts off strong with “Introduction,” which, true to its title, introduces us to a familiar yet more polished Voxtrot. The vocals and instrumentation are solid and pretty. Right away you pick up stylistic hints from the Your Biggest Fan EP; particularly a “Trouble” vibe. It seems the guys dug the use of strings in their last release because they pop up again in the first track (and in several other places; Ramesh told Pitchfork that the Tosca String Quartet is featured extensively throughout the album). The next track, “Kid Gloves,” picks up the pace with an up-tempo beat that I originally liked about Voxtrot. I’ve already played it a bunch of times at a semi-unreasonable volume and foresee myself continuing to do so with regularity.

After such a promising start, I’m fairly lukewarm about the rest of the album. Tracks like “Firecracker” and “Steven” are pretty catchy, but midway through, I found myself lulled into a kind of daze by the songs and had to listen to them several times simply to form an opinion. But the last track, “Blood Red Shoes Blood” is another standout. It closes up the set on such a strong note that I got temporary amnesia and started thinking, “Hey this is great! I LOVE this album!,” completely forgetting the less-than-stellar tracks that preceded it. Tricky, Voxtrot, very tricky.

But hey, five standout songs is five more than most releases nowadays, and for all that you can say about Voxtrot guys, they’re certainly not lazy. As with each of the three prior releases, Voxtrot presents a different sound with its newest work. Not one song from earlier EPs is repeated on this album. The band could have relied on a tried-and-true method and re-used the sound and the songs that made Voxtrot the sweethearts of the musical blogosphere, but while you can definitely hear bits and pieces from older tracks, the album in itself presents something new. You gotta respect that.

More:
Listen to three leaked songs from the LP
Check out some unreleased Voxtrot music
Upcoming tour dates
Voxtrot LP at Amazon

May 22, 2007
Comments are closed.
  1. May 24, 2007, 9:57 pm anonymous

    I’m pretty sure the song you refer to as “Blood Red Shoes” is actually called “Blood Red Blood.” I’d love to hear where “shoes” came from, though.

  2. May 24, 2007, 11:03 pm whooooo

    voxtrot!!