My first Impressions of SPICE are rather curious. I was really put off by the band based solely on their name and the social media # of "spiceispain" I did absolutely no research on the band but from the name alone expected some really acid trip style weird shit. I cautiously put the record on fully expecting to, with no word of exaggeration, hate it! Thankfully what greeted me was a fine example of indie rock that I immediately fell in love with. The band, who are based in California, are probably one of the most British sounding American bands I've ever heard.
SPICE formed in San Francisco in 2018, Viv is their sophomore release following their 2020 self-titled debut. They are a supergroup made up from members of Ceremony, Creative Adult, Sabertooth Zombie, and No Sir. The band are currently signed to independent LA based Dais Records.
Viv is a combination of indie rock and shoegaze tendencies with a bit of swagger. At times it's upbeat with fast tempo jangly guitars “Live Scene” is a great example of this. While other tracks such as “Climbing Down the Ladder” offer a more melodic, head nodding progressive sound. “Any Day Now” borders on noise rock while “Ashes in the Birthbath” is reminiscent of early 90's indie striking similarities with with the likes of Spirituliazed. I even found myself drawing likeness to punk bands such as Shame 69 when listening to “Threnody” which is short, sweet and screams drinking music.
There are lots of brassy, confident yet at times sludgy vocals, big riffs and infectious choruses as the record twists and turns through various genres keeping the listener wondering what's coming next. In my opinion Viv is quite special and I highly recommend giving it a listen.
As they say never judge a book by its cover and as SPICE have taught me a band by its name, I almost missed a treat! It's funny how the mind can make such preconceptions based on nothing more than a 5 letter word that could have any number of meanings.