Album Reviews: Voxtrot by VoxtrotBased on the release of three equally peppy and poppy EPs, Austin, Texas' Voxtrot, the reluctant torchbearers of twee, have been the recipients of much hype and adulation. Was this the overdue arrival of the American Smiths? And could this celebrated band live up to the daunting potential it was hinting at four tracks at a time?
With their 11-song, self-titled debut, Voxtrot finally answers these questions. It's fortunate we already know them—in blog years, we've known Voxtrot for some time now—because the opening track, "Introduction," is a chorus-less, violin-heavy track that's relatively flat and unmemorable. On the following song (and lead single), "Kid Gloves," singer Ramesh Srivastava shouts, "Cheer me up, cheer me up, I'm a miserable f*ck," and it's a resentful, self-indulgent line that perhaps only Morrissey could really pull off.
Scrappier, rockier songs like "Firecracker" and "Brother in Conflict" see the band instrumentally and vocally flexing its muscles, yet they still seem ill-fitting—like they're playing dress-up. Only toward the end of the record, on the gentle piano ballad "Real Live Version," does Voxtrot rediscover the preciousness inherent in their appeal. Perhaps the band will be able to slip more easily into their true sound (and potential) on their sophomore release.
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