Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Noyes - s/t

Noyes is the brainchild of guitarist Victor Villarreal, former axe-man of a number of legendary Chicago indie bands like Cap’n Jazz, Ghosts and Vodka, and OWLS. Villarreal has pioneered his own unique approach to guitar. His finger-picked riffs are beautifully melodic, and at times almost hypnotizing. This album is a joy to listen to. The guitar work is complex in execution, but when layered and repeated, as Villarreal does on this disc, it can’t be described any other way than just plain pleasant. Hints of OWLS can be heard throughout, but Noyes presents a more subtle and cerebral approach than the past works of Villarreal. Bands like Algernon Cadwallader, Them Roaringtwenties, and others clearly owe a lot to the work of Victor Villarreal. It is interesting to point out that while these newer bands owe a great debt to him, the mimicry of his style has morphed from complex finger-picking into frenetic finger-tapping. Noyes offers up a laid back indie rock album filled with charm and emotion. If anything, Noyes has more in common with the lyrical guitar work and eloquence of American Football than it does with the spazzy Cap’n Jazz. There’s some sparse vocals, some keyboards, and even a breakbeat or two, but the centerpiece remains the enthralling musicianship of Victor Villarreal. And rightfully so!


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