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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

VOLOVAN

By Chris King
Published February 8, 2006

Volovan
Lakeshore

Mexican rock is not a genre known for its restraint, but here is a minimalist pop gem from the land of overdoing it. With their yearning vocals, understated acoustic guitars, warm keyboard patches and (above all) gentle touch at the effects rack, Volovan may finds their audience among fans of subtle Anglo pop rather than Latin rockers. They don’t have (or, at any rate, show) much musical chops, but they do have a sweet batch of hooks and the sense to give those riffs and melodies spare arrangements with space for them to grow on the listener. Volovan is not as exquisite as low-key Beach Boys, but they deserve their Pet Sounds comparisons more than, say, Wilco does. Certainly they could tour with Wilco, Stereolab or Tahiti 80 and send a good many of their fans to their Spanish 101 notes to figure out what is going on lyrically behind this calm, alluring shimmer.