Monday, May 24, 2010

Check It. Voxtrot [The Monday Download].

In music, everyone talks about the sophomore slump--when a band finds itself under immense pressure to create a second album just as good (but preferably better) as their first breakout hit. But what about a freshman slump? In the age of the internet when a band can get hyped from a few choice songs posted on their myspace, the pressure to put out an exceptional first album is something all too true, all too harsh, and often laden with musical casualties.

A sad example of this is Voxtrot. The Austin-based band debuted in the early 2000s in a rush of internet media hype for their first set of EPs, featuring jangly indie pop songs full of good hooks and even better lyrics. I was a huge fan; I loved the energy of the danceable songs, and I thought frontman Ramesh Srivastava always had the greatest lines about down and out but optimistic youth, a la "we are desperate, lonely and underpaid" and "we only ever wanted to feel real" (they're less emo in context, I swear). And I too, was excited for Voxtrot's full-length debut. But by the time the self-titled disc was released in 2007, the band was taking a much slower pace to their songs, and the music lost its witty bite. It was disappointing to many, and Voxtrot suffered from never having really been able to grab the spotlight. In April, Srivastava issued a statement on their website stating that they were breaking up.

But not before taking on a short U.S. tour ([bitterly?] named "Goodbye, Cruel World..."), playing those long-lost hits for one last time. They'll be hitting the Echoplex this Thursday, and they'll be sure to bring out all the stops on this last hurrah. Reminisce in Voxtrot's better days and bask in the wonderful youthful exuberance they used to exude. Here's a reminder below:

(NB: it must be stated that for the most part I am opposed to live video recording by fans during shows, but considering I don't believe Voxtrot ever put out a good official video for any songs on their EPs, this will just have to do.)

You'll be missed, Voxtrot, but better things are to come.

Voxtrot is performing May 27th at the Echoplex, located at 1154 Glendale Blvd. in Echo Park.

-- Chau Tu

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