Viva Voce: ‘You’re gonna get your blood sucked out’

by Gayle Chung

With a phrase like “you’re gonna get your blood sucked out,” who could resist the temptation to go hear such sweet melodies?

On Sept. 15 in the Reid Campus Center Ballroom, the married duo Viva Voce brought an upbeat mixture of Indie pop and soft rock style of music to the ears of Whitman students and young locals alike.

Kevin and Anita Robinson first began their Indie rock journey in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in 1998. Success did not come to them instantly, but a few years later more people began to hear the Robinsons’ work.

Soon, their music spread across the United States, over the Atlantic Ocean, and into the U.K. Both in the U.S. and in the U.K., their most popular album, “Get Yr Blood Sucked Out,” has helped them acquire a wider audience since their humble beginnings in Alabama. Now located in Portland, Oregon, Viva Voce, Italian for “word of mouth,” has continued to develop its sound into a more dark, seductive pool of collected sounds of Indie rock.

The Robinsons’ Whitman performance truly reflected the amazing work they have come to be known for. With Kevin at the drums, Anita at the microphone and a guest vocalist backing them up, the bodies of Whitman students and the younger generation of locals were jerked into motion as they rocked to the collection of guitars, basses, drums and a cowbell.

The music’s beat would often purposefully fall apart, only to come back together again in a foot-tapping rhythm. The lighting and overall dark setting of the stage fit well with Viva Voce’s harsher style of music. Their simple black t-shirts and blue faded jeans contrasted with their hard-hitting lyrics from songs like “From The Devil Himself” and “We Do Not Fuck Around.”

When asked about how they feel about Viva Voce’s music, one student replied, “I love it. And the chick is good-looking, too.” Another student commented on the intensity of their music. The musical couple knows how to control their audience’s emotions. They would often change the tempo by speeding it up and then radically slowing it back down. Other times, they would start a song with an unexpected burst, making those closest to the speakers jump back.

Before Viva Voce hit the stage, Point Juncture, WA started out the night, truly surprising many people with what they had to share musically with an energetic performance. With whoots and claps, this relatively unknown group from Portland, Oregon, got the audience riled up with their intriguing and impressive display of instrumental multi-tasking.

At one point, the lead vocalist was singing her hard-hitting lyrics while pounding away at the drums with her right hand and playing the keyboard with the other. Both the talented bassist/vocalist and the lead guitarist were no less astounding.


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