The Viatones VIATONES
Blayze Viator probably doesn’t listen to anything that would be considered “current music,” and that’s all right.
Viator is the lead singer/guitarist for The Viatones. He and his band released a sophomore, self-titled full-length last weekend, in the midst of the Festival International celebration.
It has been reported that the show was the final time the lineup — which includes members of Brass Bed and Feufollet — would be on stage together.
If that is the case, then at least Viator and the gang left us with this album.
“Viatones” is easily one of the best things to come out of Lafayette this year. “Call You in a Minute” starts an album that side-steps whatever is considered modern in favor of love letters to 1960s and 1970s style pop-rock music.
It’s a track that is led by a furious guitar hook from Chris Stafford that’s equal parts “What’s the Story? (Morning Glory)”-era Oasis and early Beatles.
From there, the band hits on Viator’s influences. You can hear his love of Fleetwood Mac on songs like “Everybody Thinks,” which features a stellar guest vocal from Givers’ Tif Lamson. Then, there are more nods to The Beatles and Jeff Lynne’s ELO on tracks like “Not So Bad” and “A Quarter ’Til.”
If you ever talk to Viator, he won’t deny his love of old music. He’ll probably laugh and tell you how much he can’t stand anything that’s been released from the 1990s to today. Rather than try to be a throwback because that’s the cool thing to do, Viator has always been hard-headed. He’s adamantly opposed to writing new-style music, and the results are always refreshing and never forced.
If this is the last document of this incarnation of the band, it’s a bittersweet goodbye. Yet, it’s another example of a Lafayette band that shouldn’t be overlooked. The town has a knack for cranking out good band after good band.
It’s just hard for me to think that “Viatones” is the last we’ll hear from Viator. It feels like there’s still music in his bones. It might take another four years as this release did, but to quote the singer, “that’s just fine.” It’ll give us time to catch up and do our homework to focus on the golden sounds of yesteryear just as Viator does so well.
Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.