Viva K – Viva K
Rumor has it Viva K was born when early member Evan Haros purchased a sitar in a Hollywood pawn shop that allegedly had once belonged to Beach Boy Brian Jones. It is a purely California story.
The sitar does take the pole position on the first track, aptly titled “Guru.” But this is not a one trick pony. Super sick, electro, Sonic Youth ‘Death Valley ’69 drum craft pounds relentless, along with powerful lead, prog-punk guitar on “Dekoder.” This gives way to more of a Manchester style on “No Better Time”…dare I are say, EMF-reminiscent??
The major element of consistency of Viva K comes from the vocals. Ween Callas summons a semblance of PJ Harvey, Bjork, Joanna Newsom and Kathleen Hanna, with a stony drive that carries the fierce rock tracks just as well as the psych-prog.
I couldn’t imagine a band basing itself around a sitar and gaining credibility in my personal rock world. I am a purist; but Viva K has proven it possible with a soothing yet driving force in rock that will remind you of some of the best dirgey jams of the early nineties, and will catapult you into a new era of rock at the same time.