The influence that indie pop stars can have over a band’s career is a double-edged sword. Take Via Audio, the Brooklyn-based quartet who built a reputation around the buzz created by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla; he touted them as one of his new favorites. It also happened that Spoon’s Jim Eno was impressed enough by their 2005 demo that he brought them down to his Public Hi-Fi studio in Austin, Texas to record Say Something, Say Something, Say Something. The result is a polished album that does seep with well-crafted indie gloom and eccentric melancholy pop, but the clone-ish, perfunctory feel of an indie rock blueprint is undeniable, and consequentially unaffecting.
Peppered throughout are nods to The Stars (“Developing Active People”), Silversun Pickups (“Numb”), and, yes, Spoon (“Modern Day Saint” could be an outtake from Gimme Fiction). While Via Audio does draw heavily from modern day indie crooners, their affinity for the ’90s alternative genre is hard to miss.
Via Audio’s tuneage is tight, textured and versatile. Unfortunately, it’s a formula their peers figured out first. (Jonathan Stumpf)
Via Audio plays with Tigercity Monday, Dec. 17, at the Badlander at 9 PM. Free.