Album Review: Viola Beach – Viola Beach

Viola Beach

Released 29th July 2016

Words: Eliza Laben

Viola_Beach-Viola_Beach-album-2016-artworkEarlier this year all four members of indie-rock group Viola Beach, along with their manager Craig Tarry, tragically passed away in a car crash in Sweden. Following the accident, their then-current single Boys Can Sing made it’s way into the UK singles chart along with Swings And Waterslides, their previous single. Since then the band have made a name for themselves and, only recently, Coldplay made a tribute to the band during their headline set at Glastonbury. Now it’s time for their self-titled album to be released and I couldn’t be more excited.

 

Their hit single Swings And Waterslides is the opening track to the album and, by now, anyone who knows anything about Viola Beach has heard this song. Soft, melodic vocals contrast with the crashing symbols and fast-paced drum beat perfectly. The song exudes the summer vibes that all their music does, something that makes their sound so unique and enjoyable. The track has proved itself to be worthy of the success it has had. Like A Fool is next on the album and starts of calm with twinkling guitar riffs and gentle vocals before the booming chorus sets in with screaming vocals and heavy drum beats, contrasting to the rest of the track. It works perfectly and makes for a fun, uplifting song and is pleasantly surprising when the chorus comes crashing in.

 

One of my favourite tracks from the album is Go Outside, a song that combines glittering guitar riffs with quirky, summery vocals with a rock and roll edge. This is the one song i feel differs form their others in the way that it combines different styles, it’s riskier and edgier and makes for a funky, almost tropical track that is made for festivals.

 

With Cherry Vimto, Viola Beach have made a more instrumental track. Due to the more focal drums and guitar you can enjoy the talents of the rest of the band which are, of course, exceptional. Unfortunately the vocals don’t cut it for me in this song, they are off in places and for me they don’t harmonise well with the instrumentals. However, it it very subtle and the track is still fantastic, nothing is stopping me from getting up and dancing.

The next track takes it down a notch, containing more synths and twinkling instrumentals. Drunk is a relaxed track that makes you feel like your drifting away and is perfectly soothing. A constant, drum beat supports the fluttering guitar riffs and soft, melodic vocals and builds up to be a track that is still fast-paced but manages to be rather calming. Really slowing it down is Call You Up, a mellow love song with indie-rock vibes. It’s far from uplifting, which is what we are used to hearing from Viola Beach, so it makes a nice change to hear something so unexpected from them. The instrumentals are slow and moody, but the vocals have a gritty feeling which gives this track an edge that none of the other tracks have.

 

Really Wanna Call comes to a tie with Go Outside as one of my favourite songs from the album. It’s an easy-going, sing-along summer anthem with quirky, fun vocals and glittering instrumentals. There’s not much to say other than it’s a really feel-good track and you can’t help but dance and sing to it. It will be my go-to summer track for many summers to come and certainly will take a place on my everyday playlist.

 

Get To Dancing is the penultimate track on Viola Beach’s self-titled album and the title of this track really speaks for itself. Every time I listen to it I find myself dancing along. It has glittering, indie-pop guitar riffs and drum beats, almost psychedelic and raw, gritty vocals which contrast completely but it works wonderfully. I honestly can’t choose a favourite song from this album, not that I need to, and they are also so catchy and feel-good but this is another top contender. The ultimate track on the album is the first single that became popular after the accident, Boys That Sing. There’s no question as to why it climbed the charts and had so much praise. Psychedelic guitar riffs, tap-along drums and raw vocals form the basis of this song. The lyrics are simple, therefore perfect to sing along to and make for a feel-good, easy-listening, summer anthem.

Overall, Viola Beach have created a masterpiece of an album that shows their real talent and passion for the music they have made. Although this will be the last music we hear from them and they wont see the huge success this will be, I’m sure it will be thoroughly enjoyed by all the fans and they won’t be forgotten.

Watch the video for Boys That Sing here:

 

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