Colonial Vipers Attack
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Colonial Vipers Attack

Band Alternative Pop

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Colonial Vipers Attack"

I have a fantasy about Noel and Liam Gallagher. It takes place a dozen years from now in a pub. The boys, sodden and broken, have scurried to their respective corners after yet another mindless scrum. Staring at each other across an empty bar, they think the same thing: "God, I have wasted my life."

Of course, a moment so delicious would demand a soundtrack, right? Playing overhead is the debut release by Colonial Vipers Attack. Full of brooding, Oasis-esque melancholy, the 11 tracks stir heavily with longing and regret. Perfect.

A sort of Twin Cities super group (which includes members of Divorcee, Faux Jean, the Melismatics, and the Spring Collection), Colonial Vipers Attack construct songs that are as richly textured as anything the Gallagher boys have produced. Yet they are untainted by the stink of pretension. Vocalist Chris Pavlich's thin, sustained vocals linger delicately over Kris Johnson's layered yet unobtrusive guitar work and Shawn Grider's insistent, pulsing drums.

However, it's the last track that reveals the band at their most emotionally vulnerable--and at their best. On "Sleep," Pavlich's voice rings like a fading memory over minimalist, descending guitar strums. You can almost hear it echo in the air of a dim pub as two brothers walk toward each other with fists unclenched.
- City Pages


"Charmed Life"

Contrary to rock ’n’ roll mythology, most bands endure a rather arduous birthing process, forming with half-cocked hopes and withstanding a succession of revolving door members and bouts of self-doubt before entertaining thoughts of ever even playing out live, let alone making a record. This makes the seemingly pain-free conception of local quintet Colonial Vipers Attack—one of the most exciting Anglo-leaning pop bands to hit Minnesota in some time—all the sweeter. From the first note of their impromptu initial practice session the members of CVA knew they were on to something special—and so did others.

Formed from the ashes of other high profile local bands—Pavlich, Grider and bassist John Schrei all backed up Ryan Seitz in the Lovesick-era lineup of Divorcee while Dax Eckel used to pound the keys for Faux Jean, and lead guitarist Kris Johnson has logged time with the Melismatics and Attention—Colonial Vipers Attack sounds like a delightful hybrid of the aforementioned groups. Placid layered balladry like “A Better Place” show Pavlich learned more than a thing or two from his time with Seitz, whereas the sleaze-rock clamor of “I Changed My Mind” wouldn’t have been out of place on the Melismatics’ New Infection record from a few years back.

Pavlich readily admits his past work as a sideman influences his present output greatly. “I learned a lot about songwriting from Ryan; having that experience with Divorcee really helped me out. Seeing how he put the pieces of songs together was amazing. I wasn’t really comfortable with trying to be a songwriter for a long time, even up until this record came out. I was like a fish out of water in the beginning. I had spent so much time in my past focusing on how to make cool guitar sounds that certain concepts, like keeping pitch while singing, were pretty much brand new. Now I’m sitting on a batch of new songs that we’ve started recording and melodies and lyrics are starting to come to me a lot easier.”

Once Pavlich finally found his pitch the voice he let loose was a gift from the Brit rock gods—an artful approximation of the melancholic boyish croon perfected to millions of dollars by the likes of Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Travis’ Fran Healy. Cross the Pavlich windpipes with guitarist Kris Johnson’s propensity for sharply buzzing Oasis-styled hooks and you’ve got yourself one mammoth Anglo-rock sound coming smack dab out of the Upper Midwest.
- Pulse Magazine


"Colonial Vipers Attack"

There was a moment about five years ago when, all of a sudden, Jeff Buckley became everyone’s biggest influence, from Coldplay to Muse to Chris Lee and now, in our own little corner of the world, it seems like the Verve is becoming that touchstone, from White Light Riot to Colonial Vipers Attack. They’re certainly not Verve-clones like the Music, but the wah guitar on opener “Beautiful Fall” is a dead-on duplicate of Nick McCabe’s on “Lucky Man.” As the album unfolds, other Britpop influences like Travis (tearjerker “Sleep”) and the Stone Roses (stomper “I Changed My Mind”) make their presence known, but CVA do a good job of blending them all together into a convincing whole where gently strummed acoustics sit comfortably next to curtains of fuzz. The echoey and grungy approach to Pavlich’s vocals re-inforces this pastoral/industrial approach and the melodies are deft enough to leave you feeling like you must have heard this song before. That might make them seem derivative at times, but breaking rules doesn’t always go along with breaking hearts, and that’s exactly what they do on the plangent “A Better Place.” There’s no reason why they can’t challenge the Athletes and Starsailors of the world to a knifefight and come out winners. - Pulse


Discography

Colonial Vipers Attack (self-titled, full-length CD)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The debut record from Colonial Vipers Attack features musicians from several Minneapolis bands (including former members of Divorcee, Faux Jean, The Spring Collection, and The Melismatics). Formed initially as a recording project in 2003, these long-time friends teamed up with producer and live sound engineer Brad Kern (Semisonic, Dan Wilson, N.E.R.D., Divorcee, The Hang ups, and the Owls) to record the debut self-titled release. Sessions started at The Terrarium recording studio in Minneapolis, and were completed at The Panic Room in Minneapolis. The record was mixed by Brad Kern at Recliner Beach in Minneapolis.

Colonial Vipers Attack long awaited self-titled release is also Chris Pavlich’s first offering as a songwriter. His ear for lush vocals and unique guitar sounds is complimented by groove monsters John Schrei and Shawn Grider. Dax Eckel fills in all the gaps with his infectious vintage keyboard, and Kris Johnson has just finished doing hard time for his deadly guitar work for the Vipers.