Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound Engineering by Patrick Stolley
It"s not the norm, the way the Via Audio quartet does its work in lyric. The same definitive statement can be made about the Brooklyn band"s full repertoire of delicate and spacey mood-shining, but it"s in the conclusive way in which the various songwriters put their feet down that is anti-indie rock establishment. Other than claiming that "this life is so mysterious" in "Modern Day Saint," Jess Martins, Dan Molad and Tom Deis are adamantly gone. They"ve all endured, squeezed or been squeezed lifeless from a specific situation involving that always venomous and biting love bug (oh, and there are car crashes too). There"s nothing in limbo about what they"re going to be doing next. It"s not even positive if they"re going to pack anything for their parting. They"re just out the door - or they"re pointing the way. They are finished. Rather than getting the ambivalent waffling or the straining hopelessness of trying to figure out the correct or least objectionable course to take in a matter, they"ve gone ahead and pulled the trigger.
It"s not a popular trend in song, to have one"s mind made up. A song usually isn"t one without that adding, subtracting, carrying the one, fiddling through the signals, signs and nomenclature to determine all of the things that have changed - mostly for the worse. Someone doesn"t park a car correctly causing a crash, it"s been rationalized that the other isn"t into the joint happenings anymore and that"s all it takes for the goodbye. It"s a quick switch when Martins in fed up by those winds of change after giving that special someone all that she had only to get clipped in the open field. It"s a decision that she isn"t fretting over as she doesn"t fear that on the cooler side of the pillow there will be any pangs of regret waiting idly for her when the smoke"s cleared and the scent in the place is once again all her own, no mixing of pheromones and hellos. It"s her alone again and she"s got the stiff chin.
These examples are scattered routinely all over the band"s full-length debut album, Say Something, Say Something, Say Something, a title that is almost contradictory to the general attitude of how strongly-willed the songs are written. The title leads one to believe that there are still needed answers fluttering out there unspoken or miraged. It"s that mumbo jumbo about needing resolution, but the four members of Via Audio are not subscribers. Okay, sure they could be, but that procedure takes place behind the curtains, closed off and thick so as not to give even the tiniest glimpse. It"s an interesting portrayal of the way those sorts of things explode so aggressively and then are defused or ornamentally dealt with in the best possible, least destructive way - if you"re lucky. Other times, the most destructive way cannot be avoided, but the way that Via Audio takes its steps is by grabbing the finished book - all of the stops and starts, the chapters and the footnotes and then rips out the middle two-thirds from the glue and the binding. They swallow it or shred it, dispose of it any way they please. They even tear a lot of the beginning of the story from the book so we"re just left with the conclusion, simple and over for all that it"s worth. We don"t hear the whine and the sobs, just the slow pull away from the premises, the car"s tires lightly rolling and clutching to the ground"s surface. It"s a hollow sound, but one that delivers the lasting impression. It"s the reason that Martins can then, finally sing, "I"ve got pink in my cheeks for the first time in weeks." We had the benefit of seeing or hearing about that messy red in her cheeks.