August 01, 2005

Voxtrot "Raised by Wolves"

From the first listen to Raised by Wolves, it's instantly obvious that Austin, Texas' Voxtrot take inspiration from two distinctive eras in British music: post-Sgt. Pepper's baroque pop and The Queen is Dead-era indie-pop. At some point in their thus-brief career, Voxtrot developed a deep-seeded understanding of the musical era of 20 years ago. The result is an ability to produce music that sound that sounds both original and authentic, you might think them a long-lost side project of The Housemartins.

Lead singer and international jetsetter Ramesh Srivastava leads his five-piece band through five songs loaded with cool pop production and a hint of class rarely seen in today's indie-rock scene. Gentle strings and subtle piano grace their songs, adding a mature, full sound without overwhelming the songs. The title track is pure ear candy, and is the definitive template for Voxtrot's style: catchy pop music, tempered with literate, melancholy lyrics. "Missing Pieces" and "Wrecking Force" are driving pop-rock numbers that betters The Bravery and Franz Ferdinand with a class and grace. "The Start of Something" is the missing link between The Smiths and Belle & Sebastian, and nowhere does Srivastava sing as sweetly as he does here. The brevity of Raised by Wolves is its only flaw; after being so quickly and thoroughly charmed, you'll definitely want more.

It's impossible to listen to Voxtrot without tapping your toes or smiling from enjoyment. As far as debuts go, Raised by Wolves proves to be a great debut, a wonderful introduction that establishes Voxtrot as a band with a lot to offer the world.

--Joseph Kyle

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