Rock and Roll Lover

Viva DeConcini’s band plays cabarets in New York City and sounds like nothing else – and her guitar playing is as unique as her band, as evidenced by the nasty rock solo on the title cut. The song starts like a punk band with James Brown’s horn section and leads into DeConcini’s new-wave-ish vocal. The solo starts loud and raucous before becoming beautifully dissonant.

 Most of the songs here have that sort of feel; Peter Apfelbaum’s arrangements and charts are wonderful doses of funk and pop, and while DeConcini’s vocals and guitar ref lect her obvious affinity for things that are a bit off-the-wall, the melodies are hummable and stick in your mind. Lyrically, she has written some of the best on a rock record in the past decade. Some are funny, some are ref lective, all are good; “$15 Buzz” is incredible, “Go-Go Boots” and “What’s Your Sign, Baby?” are funny and smart.

 And, on the only guitar instrumental, she takes on the classic soul song “Natural Woman,” playing the melody with a wah pedal, and using stinging licks and an aggressive attack. The song delves into corners you’ve never heard, which makes it interesting

 Viva DeConcini proves she’s a force to be reckoned with if rock and roll is to survive and grow.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.