As the opening song “Columbus Day Parade” announces: Mike Viola is on a mission.
From the get-go, Electro De Perfecto pulls listeners in with a decidedly hot-rodded version of his acclaimed songwriting. Songs that are gloriously dark and uplifting about being lost in the maze of middle age, hungry for life as the body decays.
Recorded entirely in Southern California, Electro’s ten tracks seem to absorb the life of their urban desert surroundings. Motel melodies wash over fast food joints and pharmacies. Beach Boy style stacked harmonies color the Bukowski-tinted lyrics. At times bright (“Soundtrack to My Summer”), while at others boulevard-dark (“Here’s the Rub”), there is undoubtedly a triumphant thread that winds its way through the album, leading toward the album’s centerpiece and pivotal track “El Mundo de Perfecto.”
Three years ago, Viola relocated to the Echo Park area of Los Angeles from New York City to get a little closer to his music work for the movie biz, and met drummer Victor Indrizzo while recording the soundtrack for “Get Him To The Greek” at Sunset Sound studios. “I started playing some songs off of McCartney’s London Town and Victor played along note for note. So, we decided we had to start a band together.” Indrizzio invited his friend Sean Hurley to play bass and the three quickly gelled. Mike adds, “I brought some new songs to rehearsal that I already had finished and planned for my next record. A few worked, but the rest didn’t live up to the noise we were making together so I wrote more specifically for the sound of this band.” The trio ended up recording at Victor’s studio in LA with some help from engineers Vincent Jones and Ryan Freeland.
Viola now realizes that Electro De Perfecto – a non-sequiter that Mike’s young daughter Izzy created while learning Spanish – does reflect the city it was recorded in. “I’m here in Los Angeles now… way out west. You get out here and that’s kind of as far as you go…the landscape is intense and unforgiving, it’s like the edge of the world. I never looked back, I looked around and whatever I saw became fodder for me while I was stuck in traffic on the way to rehearsal scribbling down lyrics.”
Mike also felt the kinship of his bandmates contributed to the Electro De Perfecto’s overall feel. “The 3 of us are married with kids and we’ve all been kicking around making a living in the music business since we were young. So we would talk shit and vent to each other and this theme developed and I’d kind of joke sing about it while we were jamming. I didn’t get specific I just let our collective subconscious ping pong around the album”.