Viva Montesa
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Viva Montesa

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | SELF

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock

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Viva Montesa’s Everyone’s Got Something To Say is a throwback album. A throwback to a time when blues riffs and dirty, grimy sound was what rock and roll was. A throwback to when Marty McFly was teaching Chuck Berry how to play guitar (apparently). What is funny is with The Black Keys dominating airwaves, and acts like King Khan, Black Lips, Jeff the Brotherhood and even locals like The Dig Angees/La Strange/Holy White Hounds and The White Elephant, you could almost argue that this is what rock and roll sounds like now, too. The Schwick Brothers, Gary and Ted, have created a sound that is both contemporary and classic, vibrant and vintage, prime and primitive. But mostly it is just awesome. Really, really awesome. - Desmoinesisnotboring.com


Viva Montesa are excellent purveyors of good, loud, jangling rock. The pseudonymous Schwick Boys will draw obvious comparisons to other rock duos and will actually compare rather nicely. They’re bluesier than, say, the White Stripes, but they share that band’s penchant for fuzzy amps cranked to 11. With their first full-length studio effort, the major concern was whether Viva Montesa could capture the Sturm und Drang of their live shows. Thankfully, the only thing missing from the experience is a shot of Jack. The duo is at their loud, unbridled best on tracks like “Hey Lady” and “Gimme Moe,” and they channel their inner Johnny Rivers on “The Green Bullet.” There really isn’t a misfire anywhere on the album. CV - Cityview


Music has seen a large influx of the vintage garage rock sound this year. It’s daunting to find a band that speaks to you in the sea of fuzzy throwbacks. Des Moines, Iowa based Viva Montesa have taken the simplicity and raw energy of the music of yesteryear then spiked it with something new and vibrant in their debut album, Everyone’s Got Something Good to Say (released September 7th). Their potency lies in their ability to call upon reserved nostalgia, wielding it as another instrument, rather than hiding behind it. The cues to the genre act as a third band member. Once they are discovered, they are sure to be a forerunner in the current garage rock revival.

The ten track album brings back the summer-time garages where we all drank soda, cranked up the volume, and forced the whole neighborhood to groove alongside us. “Could You Turn My Lights On,” the first track displays all the staples of fuzz that we would expect. Ted Schwick’s guitar struts along with growing intensity at each repetition of the catchy chorus. It’s the most lyrically audible point of the song through all the jam worthy distortion. Gary Schwick’s drums provided the arrhythmic heartbeat for the body of the whole album as he spiked on the monitor with enthused bursts.

Viva Montesa’s devotion to the hazy technicolor past is shown in the constant sense of psychedelia in their filtered vocals. They dive into an underwater delivery in the streaming verses, surfacing clearly at each chorus before they swim back down into the depths of their quick fire words. The title track is begging to be sung along with, though we could probably never keep up, even if we did know what they were saying. One doesn’t need to catch all the lyrics to see the fun loving point the brothers are laying down.

My mama thinks I’m crazy,
and my friends seem to agree.
When I see those hips moving…

Swiftly swaying body parts trump the need for heavy emotional depth with this album. You don’t listen to Everyone’s Got Something to Say to speak to your bleeding heart. You listen because it reminds you of the good ol’ days of growing up in small towns with friends. You find yourself possessed by the dancing spirit of rock and roll through the ages.

Tracks like, “Come Clean,” and “The Green Bullet” serve as a strong representation of Viva Montesa’s style. Quick tempo throwbacks are their modus operandi but the real treat is found when they take a side step outside their wheelhouse. “Gimme Moe” turns into their heaviest offering halfway through the track which makes it a stand out. The hints at metal are easily discovered here. “Three Will Remain” ends the album well with short lines surfacing through the heavy distortion.

Three will remain,
And carry on.

Viva Montesa’s 2012 album is far more than homage to the dirty jams of the 70’s. It is a reconstruction of garage rock for our modern times. The Schwick brothers process a certain charisma which allows them to create a sound far larger than two men. The fun loving summer vibes of Everyone’s Got Something Good to Say is a perfect way to wave good bye to summer lovin’ and keep us warm in the coming fall. Like vintage sodas in fancy glass bottles dripping with condensation, all the flavors we have come to love and identify with blended together with some new ingredients and real sugar.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars - IMR Magazine


Discography

Smoke & Mirrors EP (2009)
Everyone's Got Something Good To Say (2012)

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Bio

Created in late 2007, Viva Montesa is a blend of vintage and modern sounds. Guitarist Ted Schwick's vocals are both frenzied and melodic, while brother Gary provides the drums and harmony. Their early years included numerous shows in central Iowa. The band also released a 6-track EP, Smoke & Mirrors. In 2012, Viva Montesa released their first full-length album, Everyone's Got Something Good to Say.
Over the years, the brothers have sought exposure on a variety of platforms, most notably Indie Music Reviewer, The Iowa State Fair, KCWI TV, various outdoor festivals, and frequent rotation on local radio. The band is currently writing a new album while they continue booking shows in the near future. With an emphasis on strong vocals and full-bodied instrumentation, Viva Montesa hopes to bring their music to a larger audience.