Viet-Ruse
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Viet-Ruse

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Latin Punk

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"Razorcake - VIET RUSE"

VIET RUSE:
Self-titled: CDEP
I’ve known Ollin’s Scott Rodarte long enough (most of my life, if you insist on bein’ nosy) to know that when he tells me I should pay attention to a band, I should do just that, and this EP doesn’t change that assessment. Viet Ruse is a San Antonio punk band, but in their case the “punk” is more evident in attitude and approach than adherence to the slew of stereotypical templates that most associate with the genre. While they retain enough of their own personality to keep things from sounding like rehash, one can hear a slight but definite Paul Weller influence throughout, right down to the preference for high end, clean channel guitars and their smart use of pop hooks and subtle soulisms. Their lyrics are well above the norm as well—intelligent, thoughtful, and topical without being preachy—one song even mulls the parallels between Dresden, Vietnam, and Iraq. If I had to find something to gripe about, it would be a wish that they fiddled a bit more with song dynamics and that more disparate, diverse musical influences manifested in their music, ’cause a lot of the songs here are similar in tempo and approach. For all I know, though, the tunes they didn’t record could sound like Ravi Shankar being beaten about the head by The Swans. Sure, maturity ultimately comes with time and experience, and, frankly, they’re already working well ahead of the curve here. I’d be much interested to hear how they expand on the sound they’ve already honed. –Jimmy Alvarado (mjmiranda@83@gmail.com) - Razorcake Magazine


"Razorcake - VIET RUSE"

VIET RUSE:
Self-titled: CDEP
I’ve known Ollin’s Scott Rodarte long enough (most of my life, if you insist on bein’ nosy) to know that when he tells me I should pay attention to a band, I should do just that, and this EP doesn’t change that assessment. Viet Ruse is a San Antonio punk band, but in their case the “punk” is more evident in attitude and approach than adherence to the slew of stereotypical templates that most associate with the genre. While they retain enough of their own personality to keep things from sounding like rehash, one can hear a slight but definite Paul Weller influence throughout, right down to the preference for high end, clean channel guitars and their smart use of pop hooks and subtle soulisms. Their lyrics are well above the norm as well—intelligent, thoughtful, and topical without being preachy—one song even mulls the parallels between Dresden, Vietnam, and Iraq. If I had to find something to gripe about, it would be a wish that they fiddled a bit more with song dynamics and that more disparate, diverse musical influences manifested in their music, ’cause a lot of the songs here are similar in tempo and approach. For all I know, though, the tunes they didn’t record could sound like Ravi Shankar being beaten about the head by The Swans. Sure, maturity ultimately comes with time and experience, and, frankly, they’re already working well ahead of the curve here. I’d be much interested to hear how they expand on the sound they’ve already honed. –Jimmy Alvarado (mjmiranda@83@gmail.com) - Razorcake Magazine


"Viet Ruse: Soundtrack of San Antonio"

CLICK ISSUE #6 to view. Page 24,25. - Backbeat Magazine


"Viet Ruse: Soundtrack of San Antonio"

CLICK ISSUE #6 to view. Page 24,25. - Backbeat Magazine


"CD Review"

BY JEREMY MARTIN

If you’ve taken our advice and seen Viet Ruse perform at any of the shows they’ve played around town in the past year or so, you’ll recognize most if not all of the songs on their 27-minute debut EP. That’s for a couple of reasons: The band, which came together in its current form in 2008, is still pretty young and has a limited amount of material to draw from, but they’re already peppering their fuzzy buckshot blasts with instantly memorable hooks — both vocal and instrumental — worthy of old-school hitmakers. “Age of 23,” for example, slides along Chris Rocha’s slippery guitar while vocalist Myke Miranda struggles to keep his balance, mirroring the uncertainty of the quarter-life-crisis his lyrics describe, and you’ll know it the second time you hear it. “Dresden Release Party,” on the other hand, first burrows into your skull with Miranda’s repeated drawn-out delivery of “t-i-i-i-i-i-i-me,” but drummer Mateo Arredondo’s fidgety beat propels Rocha and Miranda’s overclocked guitar duel to drive it deep into your brainstem. The songs have become more polished with repeated rehearsal, not necessarily a positive; part of the band’s initial appeal was in its ramshackle chaos, which excited us into making favorable comparisons to fundamentally louder acts like Mission of Burma or the Black Angels. “Slow Beginnings,” though, an uptempo pop-rock hunk that features Miranda nearly crooning in a notably more coherent and tuneful voice that “everyday I’m waiting for the day you return/ You know it’s only for you,” is more representative of the sound Viet Ruse appears to be gravitating toward. The brand of punk-damaged reggae we fell in love with live seems to be rapidly morphing into something less noisy and idiosyncratic in the recording studio, but greater accessibility isn’t a bad thing when it’s not gained at the expense of artistic vision. So grab this if you’re a fan of melodic rock ’n’ roll, whether you’re familiar with the band or not. Just be prepared to share Viet Ruse with others. And the next time you catch a gig, be a dear and distract them while I crank up their amplifiers. — Jeremy Martin - San Antonio Current


"Live and Local"


BY JEREMY MARTIN

“Windows of Streets and Corners,” the second song on Viet Ruse’s set list, begins at a sedated island pace and ends full of post-punk piss. Drummer Mateo
Arredondo eggs on Myke Miranda and Chris Rocha’s double-edged guitar fight till you practically feel each note slash the air around your face. Miranda’s got the vocal delivery to match, achieving that weird blend of detachment and intensity usually found only on late ’70s art-rock albums. The vintage-store venue might be appropriate, but “Windows” sounds more like the highlight off an obscure record-shop find than indie kids aping the sound of a decade they didn’t live through.

The song’s an impressive synthesis of Viet Ruse’s most obvious elements: golden-age reggae and angular new-wave noisiness. The following song, “Terrorist,” in contrast, stays in the Atlantic, thumped to a rallying point by Omar Nambo’s insistent bass line. It’s only during these slower songs that it becomes apparent the band isn’t moving much at all onstage beyond intermittent feet shuffling. Miranda’s banter is rare and mumbled. “I hear the stock market …” he begins and trails off in a purposely awkward and nonsensical aside. All the energy’s expended playing the faster songs.

“Dresden Release Party” hits with Mission of Burma’s ear-bursting intensity, and Miranda and Rocha’s jangling guitar jams develop with an intricacy that suggests each note has been meticulously plotted out beforehand. Alton Ellis cover “Rocksteady” provides some ganja-scented breathing room. The band’s more obvious reggae riffs are experiments in rhythm mostly, thankfully devoid of the unfortunate Patois impressions and “Irie Irie”s that so anger zombie Peter Tosh.

Closer “Burn the Place Down” is a final sucker punch — an inside-out deconstruction of everything they’ve just played, finding its aggression in reggae and its melody in punk. Pay attention to them. - San Antonio Current


"Live and Local"


BY JEREMY MARTIN

“Windows of Streets and Corners,” the second song on Viet Ruse’s set list, begins at a sedated island pace and ends full of post-punk piss. Drummer Mateo
Arredondo eggs on Myke Miranda and Chris Rocha’s double-edged guitar fight till you practically feel each note slash the air around your face. Miranda’s got the vocal delivery to match, achieving that weird blend of detachment and intensity usually found only on late ’70s art-rock albums. The vintage-store venue might be appropriate, but “Windows” sounds more like the highlight off an obscure record-shop find than indie kids aping the sound of a decade they didn’t live through.

The song’s an impressive synthesis of Viet Ruse’s most obvious elements: golden-age reggae and angular new-wave noisiness. The following song, “Terrorist,” in contrast, stays in the Atlantic, thumped to a rallying point by Omar Nambo’s insistent bass line. It’s only during these slower songs that it becomes apparent the band isn’t moving much at all onstage beyond intermittent feet shuffling. Miranda’s banter is rare and mumbled. “I hear the stock market …” he begins and trails off in a purposely awkward and nonsensical aside. All the energy’s expended playing the faster songs.

“Dresden Release Party” hits with Mission of Burma’s ear-bursting intensity, and Miranda and Rocha’s jangling guitar jams develop with an intricacy that suggests each note has been meticulously plotted out beforehand. Alton Ellis cover “Rocksteady” provides some ganja-scented breathing room. The band’s more obvious reggae riffs are experiments in rhythm mostly, thankfully devoid of the unfortunate Patois impressions and “Irie Irie”s that so anger zombie Peter Tosh.

Closer “Burn the Place Down” is a final sucker punch — an inside-out deconstruction of everything they’ve just played, finding its aggression in reggae and its melody in punk. Pay attention to them. - San Antonio Current


Discography

Viet Ruse - LP Self Titled.
Viet Ruse - Live at Flamingo Cantina. Austin, Texas

Photos

Bio

Viet-Ruse is a Latin/Reggae Infused Punk Rock band from the Southside of San Antonio, Texas.

The Fall of 2001 meant the beginning of an 10 year musical struggle. Late nights through Downtown San Antonio brought endless amounts of time for the band to talk, listen to music, and drink. Chris, Mateo, and Myke met each other through a plan to make music. During the Summer of 2008 the 3 decided to try again after 2 attempts. Since, Viet-Ruse has been actively playing locally, regionally, and nationally and have also released their debut album 'Viet-Ruse' on their own label. As a band, they seek to be a musical force with a catalytic approach for musical and social thought. As individuals, they are serious musicians who love what they do. DIY
Their sound can range from whats been described as
"...that weird blend of detachment and intensity usually found only on late 70's art-rock albums." -Jeremy Martin, San Antonio Current.
as well as the liking of The Clash, The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers, The Rifles, Alton Ellis, Gregory Isaacs, or The Police. Each are heavily influenced by an array of music ranging from Punk, Reggae, Cumbia, soul r&b, and Rockabilly.