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Mike Viola

Electro De Perfecto

(Good Morning Monkey / Hornblow Recordings; US: 8 Nov 2011; UK: 4 Oct 2011)

Not enough people have noticed, but Mike Viola’s been cranking out great power-pop for the past 15 years, initially with the Candy Butchers and then on his own. His career peaks have probably been his film work, particularly That Thing You Do! (but let’s not overlook Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story). He’s done it once more with his latest solo album, Electro De Perfecto. The timing might be a bit off for this one, though, as the standout track “Soundtrack of My Summer” would have been perfect to, well, soundtrack your summer. So the timing’s perfect for the Southern Hemisphere, I suppose. It’s a catchy love song, but it’s lyrically weird enough to stay consistently interesting. Viola’s not always so upbeat, even if he’s best at the uptempo, but he’s usually funny, or at least wry, and his mission statement “Columbus Day Parade” announces there’s “no negativity”. It’s not exactly true across the album, but it’s a sentiment worth keeping in mind. And for an ex-Candy Butcher, there’s a remarkable lack of saccharine in this sometimes odd assortment of smart and hooky pop.

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Justin Cober-Lake lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, kids, and dog. His writing has appeared in a number of places, including Stylus, Paste, Chord, and Trouser Press. His work made its first appearance on CD with the release of Todd Goodman's first symphony, Fields of Crimson. He's recently co-founded the literary fly-fishing journal Rise Forms.


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