Ramesh Srivastava’s Austin indie band Voxtrot has gotten no shortage of love from the blogosphere. I shouldn’t have to write here to let you all know that Playlouder/Beggars has released the group’s eponymous first full length. But here we are.
For some reason, it hasn’t gotten as much hype as I thought it would. I’ve always found the band’s EPs to be a mixed bag: Sometimes great pop, other times precious twee. The album is the same, but thankfully it’s much more good than bad. And like their three EPs, when Voxtrot gets it right, the results are masterful: 10 smart, harmonical, and densely lyrical pop songs, and one that should have been left off the album (“Real Life Version”). My particular favorite is “Firecracker,” with it’s poetic, introspective hook: “Oh, did you turn your back on me?/Or did. I. Turn. My. Self./Oh, against myself, oh?” Voxtrot are proof that one doesn’t have to be dumb to be accessible.
And I often see the band compared to the Shins and Belle and Sebastian, but I don’t see it. I’ve never enjoyed the Shins and other than their most recent record Belle and Sebastian don’t do it for me either. Those bands seem so intellectual as to be cold. But Voxtrot has hooks and lines that are not only pop, but are relatable.
Blood Red Blood-Voxtrot
And a few classics:
Shayla (Blondie cover)-Ramesh Srivastava
Soft and Warm (Live at Mercury Lounge, April 9, 2006)