Monday, April 11, 2011
LIVAN's Post Punk Revival
I love when I run across new music that makes me take a step back and go “Whoa!” This was the case upon my first listen to the new CD by LIVAN. Greek born, UK musician LIVAN (pronounced Lie-van) is a throwback to the late eighties and early nineties punk movement. I felt transported back to a club in England during that era when I listened to this CD.
His new CD is entitled Off the Grid and for good reason. “I called the release Off the Grid because of the digital recording revolution, so many people are making records in their bedroom with ProTools. They lay everything on the ‘grid’, but it’s soulless. It fails to grab the onstage vibe of musical interaction that inherent in a live band,” explained LIVAN. The band took an old-school approach to recording this one and it does have that raw, real feel to it.
The opening cords of the leadoff track “Happy Returns” grabs your attention with its crunching guitars and nasty bassline. This just sets the tone for the rest of the CD in a big way. It’s very infectious and you can’t help but want to get up and jam. “King of the World” is along that same vein with its catchy riffs and chorus. LIVAN reminds me of an early David Bowie or Billy Idol when they were young and hungry. You can hear that attitude that they had in his voice. The CD is not all upbeat and dance worthy.
Tracks such as “Meet Me on the Other Side”, “No Man’s Land” and “Where I Bleed” show a different side of LIVAN. The music slows down and the lyrics turn a bit darker on these selections, thus showing us a more emotional side to this performer. There are many layers to LIVAN and one shouldn’t be so easily fooled by the upbeat selections. This is a person who has his own dark side that we are allowed to take momentary peeks into. His vocal styling, in my opinion, on these brooding songs was eerily similar to Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil.
This CD has barely seen the light of day since I received it because it has become one with my CD player. The songs are catchy and energetic, the vocals are unique, the lyrical content is worthy of interpretation and the musicianship is top notch. Are you in need a post-punk fix? Are you wanting to hear something to make you think? Are you just plain sick and tired of premanufactured, mindless music on the radio? Then check out LIVAN and see what the buzz is all about.