NPR logo Viva Voce's Rock 'n' Roll 'Wrecking Ball'

Viva Voce's Rock 'n' Roll 'Wrecking Ball'

Wrecking Ball

  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "Wrecking Ball"
  • Artist: Viva Voce
  • CD: Lovers Lead the Way!/Heat Can Melt Your Brain
  • Genre: Rock

Viva Voce crafts a diverse mixture of shoegazer rock, lounge-style electronica and twee, twangy indie pop. Alicia J. Rose hide caption

toggle caption
Alicia J. Rose

When a band reissues its old material, it can provide a chance for newer fans to familiarize themselves with music they likely missed. It can also serve as a homecoming of sorts for the artist — a time to hear how far it's come, and perhaps even revisit ideas left behind over time.

Such is the case for the indie-rock group Viva Voce. After the success of last year's Get Yr Blood Sucked Out and a tour with The Shins earlier this year, the duo of Kevin and Anita Robinson has reissued 2003's Lovers Lead the Way! and 2004's Heat Can Melt Your Brain in one tidy package. Working in a handful of live and alternate tracks, Viva Voce's sound on these two albums — a diverse mixture of shoegazer rock, lounge-style electronica, and twee and twangy indie-pop — is considerably looser, even though they're only a few years old.

"Wrecking Ball," from Lovers Lead the Way!, combines churning, crunchy guitars with a steady rhythmic drive that recalls The Breeders' "Cannonball" or Elastica's "Connection." But with bits of synthy dream-pop and hints of noise rock, the band makes the song much more than a vehicle for a minimalist rock groove. And, while the track's coda may suggest a tacked-on refrain from another song, it certainly fills out the repetition. For a band that can easily go from mellow to energetic, it's a rare straight-up rock moment that provides an extra climax to an already great song.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Purchase Featured Music

Buy Featured Music

Lovers, Lead the Way!/The Heat Can Melt Your Brain
Viva Voce
Amore Phonics

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?