Viva Nueva

Rustic Overtones

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Viva Nueva Review

by Matthew Robinson

Not a lot of great music might make it up to the barrens of Maine, but some pretty good stuff appears to be coming from there. Supported by the formidable production talents of Dave Leonard and Tony Visconti, Rustic Overtones combines sounds and flavors of Gil Evans, Marvin Gaye, Dave Matthews, Dicky Barrett, and David B -- wait a minute, that is David Bowie! Apparently impressed by the sextet's drive (and talent), the Thin White Duke lent the band not only his favorite producer (Visconti) but also his unmistakable pipes on not one, but two songs. Though "Man Without a Mouth" bellows ironically, "Sector Z" ranks with Bowie's better tech-fed tunes and fits in well with the diversely styled album. Opening with the wave-your-arms-and-chant-along single "C'mon," Viva Nueva rolls through the calypsoed "Crash Landing" and rumbles over the techno-funk of "Gas on Skin." While "Combustible" features incendiary horns and explosive vocal delivery, "Hit Man" offers swaying soul and "Baby Blue" is absolute lounge. The album even includes its own pre-concert warmup with the self-referential "Check." So, are these Maine-iacs well prepared? A-yuh!

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