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La Cha-Cha
iViva!
by Nicholas Hubbard
03.09.08

Alternative rock—that distorted, grungy, guitar-driven stuff that showed up in the late eighties/early nineties—is almost twenty years old. I guess that’s about the age when we start to regard it as classic. Once a genre reaches that milestone, new artists who play within it are not mimics, they are revivalists. Enter Spokane, WA’s La Cha-Cha.

Their latest album,
iViva!, is about as alt-rock as you can get. It breaks out of that label on occasion, with catchy hand-claps and hip-hop influenced percussion, but never strays far. If you like Blind Melon, you will like this album. Sometimes I say such a thing and it’s not a compliment. This time it’s a compliment—not just ‘cause I like Blind Melon, but because iViva! is as (forgive me) vivacious as that band was. 

Things revived in its thirteen tracks:
*heavily distorted power chords
*lead guitar solos of the Mike McCready lineage
*sustained vowels a la Anthony Kiedis

La Cha Cha, short for Larren (Wolford) Chad (Kauppi) and Chad (Wiser), burst out of your stereo with the insistent “Talk Zero.”  It’s a great way to start an album that is consistent in style and varied in tempo. “Into the Blood” and “Put it Down” are two of the more subdued songs and I appreciate them for that; on each the trio is able to engender some of that pain that a good bend of the guitar string delivers. iViva! has a nice bipolar feel to it, in the subtle way most of our lives do. It ends with the quiet of “Circle of Lines,” to match the pounding that began the album.

More on La Cha-Cha:
www.myspace.com/vivalachacha.