The New World of Goth Pop
Goth had dug itself a neat little niche, nestled beyond any reach of the blinding lights of pop. A long time ago there were a few crossover bands like Bauhaus, The Cure and Joy Division that braved that gap. Since their era, there have been few who really tried until now except for the likes of Viva K. Viva K’s self-titled debut takes different elements of Goth and fuses it with several genres, creating their own other-worldly species of pop.
With vocals paralleling that of Siouxsie Sioux, drum machine effects like lighter Switchblade Symphony and Depeche Mode-esque melodies one might think that Viva K is strictly dark and witchy. But the band, all being fans of George Harrison, brought components like a sitar into the mix. That and the fact that each member was from a different part of the world, things were bound to be different than your average synth-pop band. They take the simplicity of punk (“Dekoder”), the feel of new wave (“Love Everybody”), positive lyrics (“We Are Safe”), haunting female vocals, unusual instruments and influences and come up with a sound resembling that of Le Tigre but darker and more light-hearted all at once. Even so, some of the melodies became overly redundant as in songs such as the opener “Guru.”
In the end Viva K remains an intriguing band; dark and exotic yet grounded with a pop base. Their music utilizes different influences from different parts of the world but keeps it simplified enough that everyone can enjoy it. This is a great album for people who dig both the darker side of Pop and the lighter side of Goth.