If it seems like I've been posting almost exclusively 90's midwest emo bands and their scattered disciples and side projects, it's because that's pretty much all I've been listening to. There's something to be said for a scene that has produced so many amazing artists and spread it's influence across the entire country, if not by now (with the help of the wonderful internetz) the whole world.
Many would argue that the Kinsella clan stand at the center of this world; the OG's, the musicians that continue to push everyone else ever forward...or whatever. But there are other, although maybe more obscure, equally important players. Perhaps the one most shrouded in mystery is Victor Villareal, guitar wizard (seriously, this guy is one of the best guitar players I've ever heard, anywhere) and songwriter for legends like Cap'n Jazz, Owls, and Ghosts and Vodka. Amid a flurry of guitar riffs and sudden rumors of serious drug addiction, he seemed to fall off the face of the planet.
The world after Villareal must have seemed bizarre to those who had cut their teeth on Cap'n Jazz records: Braid was playing reunion shows, The Promise Ring released Wood/Water (much to many people's dismay), and MTV began playing Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday videos in between the new Jessica Simpson and the latest Nelly joint.
Sometime before the world went to shit, Villareal entered the studio, recorded a short, four song EP with the aid of Ryan Rapsys, (sonic guru responsible for Euphone), and released it under the Noyes moniker.
Noyes is like a more spacy Ghosts And Vodka, with compositions featuring jazzy elements, guitar riffs that are as spastic as they are pretty and subtle, and racuous drumming. The record plays through like a lost Pele EP, kicking in with a snappy drumbeat, and ending out with a punctuated picking pattern that repeats, and then fades into silence.
Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately, depening on your stance on the recent youtube videos displaying his solo acoustic material) for us, Villareal has recently re-emerged for a possible Ghosts and Vodka reunion (as previously discussed in the Ghosts and Vodka post on this blog).
It seems we have not seen the last of Victor Villareal.
View the myspace.
Noyes EP (2003)