Voxtrot are the new Smiths. And before I start getting pelted with rotten vegetables, please hear me out. I'm not specifically talking musically, nor am I comparing quality, influence, or anything that has been solidified in the Smiths' canon. I'm talking about how Voxtrot's career outline is eerily similar to the humble beginnings of Manchester's finest, and how, more than most current upstart bands, they seem to have the ability to create a heritage that will outlast the current indie-boom.
The Smiths destroyed with their early singles and Voxtrot's first EPs have followed this same career path. But an even stronger echo of the Smiths' history is that their first attempt at turning those early successes into a full album ended up being a bit disappointing. Both the self-titled Smiths album and the newly released self-titled Voxtrot album sound overproduced, and rather than fully realized albums, they sound like a handful of singles mixed with filler.
Voxtrot's brand of indiepop is comparable to a twee-influenced Ted Leo. It contains all the same emergency, melody, and flair, yet rather than attack the outside world, the camera is turned inward in classic twee self-deprecation. Singer Ramesh Srivastava has a penchant for penning arty, witty, and wry Morrissey-esque lyrics, such as "Cheer me up, cheer me up, I'm a miserable fuck/Cheer me up, cheer me up, I'm a tireless bore." The vocals take center stage while the guitar—sometimes edgy, sometimes jangly—provides the perfect backdrop, a composition similar to the Morrissey/Marr duo.
It took the Smiths three tries to finally produce a classic album (The Queen Is Dead), and with the amount of talent that Voxtrot possess, it seems like they're close behind that schedule in producing a masterwork. More great EPs are sure to follow, and now one can only hope egos don't start getting in the way before their potential is fully materialized.