Viva Voce – The Heat Can Melt Your Brain

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

Husband and wife team Kevin and Anita Robinson come from Portland, Oregon and, although this is their debut album in the UK, they already have another to their name back home. At a brisk 38 minutes, THE HEAT CAN MELT YOUR BRAIN is a charming blend of psychedelic pop and found sounds that seems to work together as effortlessly as the couple producing it.

While most of the songs here have an almost unavoidable sense of twee about them – xylophones, kazoos and bontempi beats all make an appearance, not to mention breathy vocals from both protagonists – they produce something approaching the cinematic on tracks like BUSINESS CASUAL and the Mercury Rev-like THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.

This could all have gone horribly wrong, but a knack for a catchy tune and some far out effects encourage repeat listens. Understated, yes, but this is an effective lo-fi antidote to the hyperactive over-produced mush that passes for pop music these days.

4 stars