REVIEW: Viv and the Revival - And Then The World EP
Origin: Philadelphia, PA
Pop music artists are like landscape artists: the land is practically provided for them, but there are those that want to change things up by touching it with their unique sensibilities and then there are those that want to continue its current trend and keep things safe and quanit. Whether they feel they need to stand out from the crowd or become a different but identifiable entity of the genre, the artists that strive for the former don't have to provide such a temporal atmosphere where they rise and fall based on what is happening temporarily, as is the case for artists in the latter case. It's thankful to say that artists with those better pop sensibilities do exist, and fears can be put to rest by listening to this handful of potential from up-and-comers Viv and the Revival.
Yeah, the name "Revival" should already be your first clue. It's not so much a clever play-on-words with band leader Viv Peyrat, but it's also the intentional effort of the band to bring pop a much needed sense of lasting flavor. If the band's name wasn't just as obvious of its intention, Viv sings "I want to live forever...I'm just afraid to be forgotten," on the opener aptly titled, "Forever." But this shouldn't come off as anything to scour or scold. In fact, I would think credit is due to artists that don't beat around the bushes and rather provide a direct attack to their goal. It might be stereotypical that pop music uses such a method, but it's a trick that catches on rather quickly and works effectively, and Viv does a stand-up job. There's no denying that he has a sense of direction, too.
This six-track EP features really well-kept production values, as any considering and serious pop music should. It's not what you might call "squeaky-clean" as the band allows some rough corners with distorted guitars and tight instrumental interplay. Songs "Shook Up" and "Wonderful" provide such a gesture, with some good hooks and cranks that take Viv's vocals from standard fare to an energetic stage-like presence. Perhaps the best mixture of balance lies on "Tonight We Live As Kings," with a composition and arrangement that sidesteps away from convention and lets Viv really handle the perspective the band is thriving for. Sure, each of these songs can be considered radio-friendly, but this drives into interesting territory.
The EP does justice to the pop music genre by being the same and not being the same. It follows the landscaped formula that pop music lies on, but it does so in a way that sets Viv into a greater sense of where he wants to take it, instead of letting it take him. It's admirable, to say the least, to see artists go for the attack and be straight-forward in their direction and execution, which results in well-produced and finely knit tracks. Viv and the Revival have a solid EP on their hands with potential to hit the stride that I know they want to achieve, and it's hard to stop their force when they have the tenacity to keep on going.
Viv and the Revival - "Tonight We Live As Kings"
Viv and the Revival - "Wonderful"
You can check out Viv and the Revival and the And Then The World EP over at their official website, available via Red Goat Music.