Tiny Vipers CD reviewed by Luc Rodgers
Oct 3, 2007, 04:25
TINY VIPERS Hands Across the Void CD
Hiding deep in the woods amidst the animals and wildfires, Jesy Fortino, aka Tiny Vipers, sits quietly with only a guitar and a voice. In the darkness, she meditates on the idea of free will and what comes with it—choices have consequence and it is these consequences that people have a hard time dealing with.
The first track, “Campfire Resemblance,” opens up Hands Across the Void, her debut full-length, and sets the mood for the entire record—sparse acoustic picking, mouth-close-to-mic quiet honesty, and a stage for her wonderings, wanderings, and ponderings. A gentle hum and a floating voice sail the song into the second song, “On This Side,” where the first actual strumming is heard. It is here that you realize that already it has become stagnant. The singer/songwriter world is crowded and it takes a damn special voice to be heard—you will need much more than a single heart on your sleeve to be seen.
A little later, in “Shipwreck,” the addition of strings and a higher vocal register add a little color. When she sings, “â€¦at least I'm trying,” the head crooks in sympathy and one feels bad to become so bored with the record. However, the yawns are justified with “Swastika,” a ten-minute session of question after question and the choices yielded. When the guitar merely plucks two notes, the ears are inadvertently drawn to the voice and the words being sung. With her mumblings on Jesus, broken hearts, and life in general, there is nothing to grab onto and hold. The attention needs to be manhandled and beat up a bit before it will focus on a single thing. It needs to be of interest and these oversaturated ideas just don't pull it off.
Jesy's voice isn't really bad, it's just not special. There is a certain pride that shines through—one that says she has just begun. Hopefully it will be something less bland, a little surprising, and much more singular. [Sub Pop]