Review: Viola Beach by Viola Beach

Viola Beach by Viola BeachI’ll admit, I wouldn’t be reviewing Viola Beach’s debut if not for the tragic events of last February, when all four of the band’s members (plus their manager) died in a car crash after a festival appearance in Sweden. I’ve been out of the loop when it comes to British indie bands, in part because, admittedly, nothing interesting’s really come out on that front in a while. I would be lying if I said this album – the band was working on it before their demise – bucked the trend. But then, you can’t help but have a misty-eyed view of things. What would have happened if the group got the chance to hone their craft further? That said, this record showed a band that was feeling its way through things. You can see where the flashes of brilliance could have been: opening track “Swings and Waterslides” had a tentative, nervous energy that just waited to explode. You could sense they were honing their live shows and maybe, just maybe, they could’ve seen some degree of success… if things turned out differently. [NB]3/5

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