Viva Death - Viva Death (Cover Artwork)

Viva Death

Viva Death (2002)


After reading Scott's review of this album, I thought it was totally relevant to submit another review as he's obviously biased against Trever Keith and Scott Shiflett. I'm looking at this record objectively, as friend recommended it to me, saying it was "weird and kinda spooky".

Following that description, I figured I'd read up on the band a little before buying the CD. I had heard that face to face had a side project going, but I never quite expected this.

As an on again off again listener of face to face, I was acquainted with their sound and this sounds nothing like face to face. I must say it was a welcome blast of fresh sounds from a punk scene that has become almost irrelevant.

The record starts off with "Fundamentalist" which introduces you immediately to the type of sound the band has. The baritone guitars growl throughout as Trever Keith's voice belts out lyrics in a hardened bark. This song sets the stage for a musical assault to the senses.

"The Start Up" does not only have Keith singing, it also has Shiflett singing as the baritone's fly through some surf sounds.

The record slows down and speeds up and different intervals, keeping you intrigued with songs like "Rigor Mortis Shake" - a jaunt into camp with Evil Wilhelm and the Bauhaus-like "Crosses".

In the listing of the band credits, Chad Blinman (recording engineer on the last 4 face to face records as well as a slew of other albums), is listed as "other". Well, his contribution is well noted as there are plenty of ambient sounds and vocal recordings that wouldn't normally shine through on his previous work. Its pretty obvious to me these guys are experimenting with recording techniques and it held my grasp for the entire record.

For my ears this was an escape from the racket on the radio and the typical current "punk rock" stylings of so many bands. Be your own judge.