Voxtrot is a silly name, even for an indie band from Austin (which is about as good as Texas gets). But the group's frontman, Ramesh Srivastava, has an interesting moniker (Indian in origin). Would have been better to name the band after him. The other fellows in the group have generally standard issue names but Jared Van Fleet is absolutely spot-on for a keyboard player.
Regardless, Voxtrot was a practitioner of the DIY School of Rock. Put out an EP and build a buzz. The first one, a 'homemade project', dropped in '03 shortly after the band began. Two years later the EP "Raised By Wolves" arrived. It was followed (in '06) by the five-song "Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives." Just seven months later, there was another EP, "Your Biggest Fan." Voxtrot also contributed "Warmest Part Of The Winter" to the global compilation "Little Dara Has A Treat For You."
While these releases were circulating the group was able to attract national press from SPIN/SPIN.com, Pitchfork Media and even blurbs in Rolling Stone. They didn't get this coverage because these publications have reporters on the cutting-edge seeking out new sounds. No, the group was brought to the media's attention by a core of dedicated fans/bloggers who kept putting the group's name out there, raving about them. The EPs, live shows and fan support led to their self-titled full-length debut in '07. "Blood Red Blood" was the first single.
To say Voxtrot's debut doesn't live up to the fan hype would be unfair. Nothing could. But this album does have the goods. "Kid Gloves" rolls out the shimmering chords and crashing cymbals with a Britpop feel. Obviously, they've been listening to and absorbing their U.K. counterparts because they nail it. Single "Blood Red Blood" earns notice but "Firecracker," a song about living in a "tiny joke" and not being tricked," is the real charge. The song builds to a propulsive chorus. Srivastava's plaintive vocals and Van Fleet's keyboard playing work particularly well together on the catchy music hall flavored "Steven" and the captivating ballad "Real Live Version." Picking up the tempo both "Easy" and "Brother In Conflict" are recommended.