[£10 for CD // £5 for Download // https://viennaditto.bandcamp.com/album/circle]
When I listen to music that I've never heard before (Though I did play the hell out of a single that was released prior to this album) I like to ask myself two important questions. First, does this sound like other music that I like? And if so, does it sound so much like that other music that I don't need to add it to my collection? For Vienna Ditto both of these answers are favorable, as I can hear influences I like but Vienna Ditto has enough of their own touch for this to stand out on its own.
Now, I'm familiar with the notion that one person can make a thousand sounds and so I guess it might be true that a thousand people could make one sound (See: Trent Reznor as Nine Inch Nails, Beck, etc.) but I was a bit surprised when I read that Vienna Ditto is a duo because they have the sound of a much larger act. I'd say there'd be about as least as many people in Vienna Ditto as in Deerhoof or maybe somewhere around... six?
Right from the first track you know this is going to be different because it's melodic and pretty but the first hook (or chorus?) is the line "This is fucked up". Yeah, think what you will, but a lot of those teddy bears and sunshine notions disappear when someone drops an f-bomb, especially so early on. That isn't to say that the album is riddled with profanity (it really isn't), but it's just a nice way of kicking things off to show people, "Hey, this isn't what you think it's going to be".
On the second song we channel the likes of Boom! Bap! Pow! (Another of my new favorite artists), Save Ferris and Jessica Hernandez. "Wintertime" has soul to it, "Long Way Down" has those rattling spy guitars that could also be Blondie and "Pale Horse Rider" is a sad, old western song. On top of all of this, two of my all-time favorite artists who happen to hold some of my favorite all-time albums come out as Metric can be found in "Oh Josephine" and "A Wheel Within A Wheel" has some elements of Polly Scattergood.
"Hold On" can bring about some bouncy pop with synth type ropes behind it and then it just goes into all out wild synth and the eventual big beats and all. It's so hard to explain this album to someone who hasn't heard it without literally writing about every single song, but if I did that I'd be here all day. I've made the offer for Polly Scattergood's "Arrows" and I'll say it again here: If someone should want me to write about every song on "Circles" I will but it's going to be book length.
The idea behind this album brings me back to Weezer's blue album, which I occasionally go back to for reference but I still don't feel like I go back to it enough because of the quality of music that is out there today. Every song in here is its own story, its own little album within the album. And there is this sort of unspoken quality that binds them all together so you know it is the same artist and not a compilation (And it isn't the vocals, dears) This is the sign of true perfection in an album, what every album should be on a song-by-song basis and I just simply cannot stop listening to this.