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Wan Santo Condo | review | alternative | Lollipop

Wan Santo Condo

by Shanti Sadtler

Rarely do I find a band I'd really invest time and money into, but today I found just that in Wan Santo Condo. The band's self-titled debut combines ingredients from alternative, indie, and even country to make quite a tasty dish. The band projects heartfelt emotions and forces the listener to empathize with the message that the music and lyrics exude. The album opens with lead Bob Via singing "if you could see the world in my eyes" and the band immediately turns that if into a reality. The range and depth of emotion is poignant, artistic, and powerful. When Via sings "you left me Lauralie, I'm missing you," the wavering vocals make the listener feel the singer's pain and wanting. Fortunately, though, Wan Santo Condo doesn't fall into the trap (like many other bands) of only singing about love and relationships. "I Wish I Was a Drug" is a more serious endeavor than the title alludes. The song opens with a beautiful resonating that conjures images of injecting heroin, reminiscent of the movie Trainspotting when main character Renton sinks six feet into the red-carpeted floor. The band then segues into a strong and cynical guitar riff accompanied by Via almost spitting out "if I was a drug, I'd sell myself to all the girls," showing the band at its darkest. On another level, the band's country influence, which is evident in songs "Laurelie" and "Dandelion," reflect the band's Austin, TX roots. The alternative rock gloss keeps the band out of cowboy hats, resulting in two heartfelt, vibrant ballads that aren't totally isolated from the other songs. Wan Santo Condo is a band that's really trying to communicate something to its audience in any and every way they can muster. With varying topics and styles, the message has the opportunity to become muted, but Wan Santo Condo keeps it together with an inventive adhesive.

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