Voxtrot | Your Biggest Fan (Playlouder)

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The EP demonstrates a sophisticated sound and also exposes lyrical weaknesses.

 

cd_voxtrotVoxtrot is the band of the future because of its sound and its structure. This Austin five-piece led by Ramesh Srivastava fears not modern technology. Voxtrot realizes that its music will be "stolen" and, in turn, has utilized MySpace to perfection with the song heard round the Web, "Start of Something."

After Voxtrot self-produced two amazing EPs, Raised by Wolves and Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives, Playlouder is able to put its name on Your Biggest Fan. With three periodically released EPs, Voxtrot sustains the well-deserved hype and avoids rushing LPs that contain an abundance of filler tracks.

The title-track opener falls a second short of four minutes and proves that hardly for a second does Voxtrot settle on a specific instrumentation. It is easy to get attached to the jangling beginning, the drum-fill transitions, and the guitar stuttering, but this would be a stronger Ramesh solo acoustic song. Reminiscent lyrics, most obviously on "I used to be your biggest fan" and "Well, I made a mistake, well I made two, one for me and one for you," would be more effective without a distracting background.

Similarly Ramesh's advice—"Don't let anyone tell you there's a right way to fall in love," and his recollection of a lover's dialogue, "I want a man who makes me feel like a woman"—would, if cast under an acoustic storytelling, make this a standout track. The line, "Then I would measure everybody against you" that describes how he has made an enemy of a reluctant relationship is less forceful in this recording. Nevertheless, "Your Biggest Fan" (despite its awful ending) is another great Voxtrot song.

Track two, "Trouble," is exactly that: troubling. The first 30 seconds are hard to take. A played espionage riff sets up the weak opening, "Somebody told me you're a junkie now." People, please stop telling Voxtrot things or else they might start a third song with the horrendous intro (see Long Haul: "Somebody told me if you live this way"). Voxtrot is still a smart band and always comes back with redeeming factors. Just when you think "Trouble" was arranged by a high school cover band, they drop their initial failures, get the chorus together, power through the painful amount of clichés ("why oh why is there so much hate in this world"...c'mon!), and get it together for the last verse.

The record is an abrupt 13 minutes that hardly needs a quiet conclusion, but "Sway" offers just that. Simple guitar chords, a lullaby of notes, and an orchestral background allow the interesting voice melody to make its quiet attack. "Sway" is a must-hear for Voxtrot fans. It's so different that I can't imagine it being a part of 2007's forthcoming LP. While "Sway" might be the least upbeat Voxtrot tune, several listenings make it a standout track.

The Your Biggest Fan EP is both great and, at the same time, the worst Voxtrot release to date. The EP demonstrates a sophisticated sound and also exposes lyrical weaknesses. Overall, though, the amount of times Voxtrot makes the fans cheer outweighs the queasy moments, and that's always a good thing. Make sure you hear this one. B | Joe O'Fallon

RIYL: Belle and Sebastian

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