Whoever’s idea it was to say “Hey, the world needs an instrumental surf-rock band” deserves some credit for bringing Legato Vipers into existence. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes this band so appealing—but it’s most likely the commitment to no frills and no bullshit, just a bunch of less-than-three-minute-long blasts of rock and roll.
A year-and-a-half or so from Legato Vipers’ Quick Slug, the band’s self-titled debut is—to continue the alcohol metaphor—drinking a bunch of shots in rapid succession, with the added bonus of not getting sick to your stomach afterward.
Eagle-eyed listeners will note that eight of the band’s 12 (well, 13) tracks made their debut on Quick Slug but fear not, Legato Vipers is a new beast, recorded live off the floor. So the LP’s version of “Angel Dust” won’t sound like Quick Slug‘s “Angel Dust.”
Working mostly within the “surf-rock” genre, it won’t be easy to identify each song by its name—the chances of you eventually going “Aha! I thought this sounded like ‘Penetang Hips'” are slim to none—but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of variety.
For some straight-up surf rock to soundtrack your next spy movie, tackle “Spy vs. Spy” (obviously) and “Gangly Dancer.” To take a bit of a breather, ease into “Brian’s Beard” and “Sweet 16,” which happen to fall back-to-back.
For something a bit more ferocious, there’s “Mama Fury” and “Don’t Fear the Cab Driver Mister Reaper.” And for something all-out blistering, there’s “Penetang Hips” (okay, perhaps you might eventually know “Penetang Hips” on hearing it).
Anyway, Legato Vipers embodies everything the band is about—strutting around in leather jackets and playing some sweet guitar solos. Where there was previously a flask is now a full-sized bottle of Southern Comfort.
Top Tracks: “Spy vs. Spy”; “Gangly Dancer”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)