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"Bellavista: Back in Vue"

Bellavista: Back in Vue
By Jennifer Maerz
Published: April 18, 2007

"This really should've been Vue's decade. Back in the early '00s, the San Francisco garage-glam act was poised for magazine spreads. Sonic peers like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club caught fire using reverb-stewed songs thick with sullen romance. Interpol was just about to break. Stylish lads and lassies lapped up the '90s allure of guitar-petal ambush and sultry attitudes. Indie lynchpin Sub Pop embraced Vue's sonic theatrics, releasing its self-titled LP and, in 2001, the excellent Find Your Home. Despite the latter record's winning combo of loose Stones swagger and Gun Club seething-heart frustration, Vue's Reading Fest invites somehow got lost in the mail. The group toured with notable peers — from the Faint to Franz Ferdinand — yet never quite made it to money-raking headliner. Years later I got a promo copy of Vue's full-length for RCA, only to see the release date pushed back ... and back ... and dropped. In 2004 Vue went R.I.P.

Take two: A decade after Vue formed, its members (three of them at least — frontman Rex Shelverton, bassist Jeremy Bringetto, and final drummer Cary LaScala) have morphed into Bellavista. Their new CD is evidence of not just a new band name, but a reminder of just what gave Vue such promise. Shelverton croons for burning-core crushes in passionate songs that shift temperamentally from sly ballads to booming rave-up anthems.

Abandoning the more familiar Vue brand name comes at a cost. Instead of sharing roster ranks with, say, the Shins on Sub Pop or Kings of Leon on RCA, Bellavista debuts on Take Root Records, a new local label hosting a coming-out party at the band's CD-release show (Wednesday, April 25, at Rickshaw Stop). But the label-changing doesn't affect the music. After all, these aren't novice musicians struggling for a sound. Shelverton's still obsessed with tragedy and temptation, and his bandmates boost that angst beyond the gray skies on songs like "Carve Our World." "Hospital Hill" is an unusual instrumental of bent guitar chords and shimmery echoes, but Bellavista's real highlights come with quicker tempos. "Divided We Suffer" carries a backbeat that could crowd Popscene's dance floor. Throughout, the group steers clear of shoegazer's quicksand: no navel-staring middle-ground here." - SF Weekly

"Local Grooves: Bellavista"

Wednesday April 25, 2007

BELLAVISTA (review of self-titled debut ablum)


(Take Root Records, 2007)

"Once upon a time in a foggy city called San Francisco, there was a fierce band called Vue. This arresting quintet successfully channeled the elegance of the Rolling Stones and the rawness of the Stooges, providing the Bay Area with unadulterated rock and dangerous sex appeal. Unfortunately, after many label changes and grueling tours, Vue sadly imploded.

Rising from the rock 'n' roll rubble like fiery phoenixes, a few former Vue members - guitarist-vocalist Rex Shelverton, bassist Jeremy Bringetto, and drummer Cary LaScala - forged Bellavista. On their self-titled debut, the trio maintain the high-energy spirit of Vue but have traded in the Exile on Main Street-era feral swagger for lavish, fuzzy soundscapes. Think Kevin Shields's droning wizardry fused with the delicate psych of "2000 Light Years from Home."

Bellavista's brand of psychedelia is a far cry from paisley visions.

Instead, baroque arrangements give the music depth and volume, making it hard to believe that such grandiose and beautiful dissonance could come from just three musicians. The sensually charged "River of Lust" combines primal percussion with a menacing bass line and lyrics that bring to mind modern-day tales of sirens and sailors. Gothic undertones inform "Mystic Son," a track that sounds like the unthinkable yet perfect combination of Joy Division and Jefferson Airplane." - SF Bay Guardian


'Bellavista', eponymous LP on Take Root Records, 2007.



Formed in late 2005, Bellavista formed2005,Threewas once known as Vue. Originally on GSL then on Sub Pop and finally RCA, Vue never ever got the respect they deserved. Truly one of the greatest rock and roll bands on the planet, they put on one of the greatest live shows ever. No band encapsulated 40 years of rock and roll history in the span of 2 hours like Vue did. They were incredible and if you ever saw them live you know this." -firstcoastnews