debut album "Shadow of a Mountain" is out now and available on
ITUNES RHAPSODY PAYPLAY as well as Cd Baby Vir’s Shadow of a Mountain blends elements of post-punk and shoegaze to create a glacial, dark and elegant record. Sam Sloane’s mercurial and echo-laden guitar drifts through the record while Natasha Arens and Jeff Paul’s rhythm section build and swell around the escalating tension in Sloane’s vocals
With the band now based in the SF bay area but with roots in Christchurch, New Zealand, the album contends with a longing for home and a sense of loss despite the idealistic urge for challenge and experience abroad. Drawn to the contradictions and contrasts in the U.S the album contends with a futile attempt and defiant struggle to challenge an insurmountable mountain, as a result, Vir produce an album evocative of the American landscape
Vir’s music is unashamedly melodic, honest and affecting. The songs are built on an engaging dynamic of fragility, melancholy, ambiance and intensity. Live, the band is uninhibited in communicating songs of love and loss and the fervor with which they play elevates the music to evocative peaks
The band will be touring "Shadow of a Mountain" throughout the United States throughout the year.
Sf Chronicle by SF Chronicle SF ChronicleSF Chronicle Article on VIR...No one quite knows for sure what the letters VIR stand for in the name of this San Francisco shoegaze band. Well, maybe the band members do, but they're...
RadioIndy by RadioIndy Shadow of a Mountain" by VIR is a dreamy and melodic shoegaze-style alternative rock album that features good songwriting and an innovative, experimental sound. The influence of early new wave punk...
Sf Chronicle by SF Chronicle
SF Chronicle Article on VIR...
No one quite knows for sure what the letters VIR stand for in the name of this San Francisco shoegaze band. Well, maybe the band members do, but they're not saying. "The name VIR has been a source of speculation amongst our friends, so we decided to never give it up," says guitarist Sam Sloane, who came to the Bay Area from New Zealand.
Initially Sloane, Natasha Arens and Jeff Paul were in a band called Montana, aiming for a "big, glacial, dynamic American landscape soundtrack ... thing." When they couldn't find that big sound, they opted instead for the vibrant, intriguing and rad tones of VIR. "I came over from New Zealand all green, wide-eyed and spouting English literature," says Sloane, who first bumped into drummer Paul in the Bay Area. "We used to hang out at an old movie theater and basically bonded over film before we bonded over drinking, reverb and space rock.
VIR just finished recording its debut album, "Shadow of Mountain," and alleges that the musicians "are looking forward to the next full length, due on Columbia Records in 2021.
Until then, there will be some local VIR shows, including Friday at the Uptown in Oakland.
Lineup: Sam Sloane, guitar; Natasha Arens, bass; Jeff Paul, drums.
1. VIR's music should be filed between:
Mogwai, the Chameleons and B.R.M.C.
2. The soundtrack to what movie would VIR's music best match?
Days of Heaven," "Badlands" or "The Thin Red Line." Or anything by Wong Kar-Wai.
3. If VIR could collaborate on a song with any person, living or dead, who would that be?
4. If a junior high school asked VIR to play a cover song at the next talent show, what song would you choose and where?
Transmission" by Joy Division at Hagley Community College, Christchurch, New Zealand.
5. What is the meaning of life?
To question it, says Sloane. "However, I've been too busy with the whole living thing to give it much thought lately. If I need a life affirming sentiment, I'll listen to comedian Bill Hicks.
Check them out: www.thevir.com; myspace.com/wearevir
Next gig: 9 p.m. Fri. $8. 21+. With Murder of Lilies, the Paranoids. The Uptown, 1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. (510) 451-8100. www.uptownnightclub.com.
- Delfin Vigil, firstname.lastname@example.org
RadioIndy by RadioIndy
Shadow of a Mountain" by VIR is a dreamy and melodic shoegaze-style alternative rock album that features good songwriting and an innovative, experimental sound. The influence of early new wave punk is well represented in VIR?s sound, but they bring it to you in their own original way. These guys are pretty edgy and aren't afraid to take chances. There is an ever-present, grounding rawness to the sound, and the power-packed melodies will entertain your ears. The vocal performances are excellent, with a great vulnerable quality that lies underneath a strong voice. The lyrics are interesting as well, displaying a lingual sense while tugging at your emotions. ?Shadow of a Mountain? is very well-recorded and maintains a nice analog quality. Highlights include "Wake Up Son," with excellent layering of guitar sounds and cool effects. "The Kicker" features a great vocal performance, progressive rhythm, and nice melodies. "Montana" wraps things up nicely with an atonal prog ression and an overall broodiness. If you enjoy experimental, modern sounds combined with a new wave, shoegaze sound, ?Shadow of a Mountain? will be right up your alley.
-William and the RadioIndy.com
East Bay Express by East Bay Express
EAST BAY EXPRESS
Your Daily Lick: VIR
Shadow of a Mountain (self-released)
Finally, someone makes this shoegaze revival thing work. Oakland's VIR, formerly called Montana, lays U2-size vocals, melodies, and song structures over sinister, flatline backdrops à la Joy Division. The resulting tension, anchored by singer Sam Sloane's excellent guitar work, creates songs that don't stale. — Nate Seltenrich
Beautiful Noise Broascast by Beautiful Noise Broadcast My personal reflections on the album is far more than post punk and shoegazer. This album hits almost every aspect of Shoegazer with its ethereal sensibility, hammering harshness, and blurry sounds. And to top it all off, its coated with a fantastic voice that soothes the heart and gives you goosebumps. Now these are the things that I look for in a band, and I'm glad that VIR satiates the craving.
- Tennessee Loveless