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Von Iva: Von Iva

Cochon Records: Released late 2004

When I first popped in Von Iva's self-titled debut, the unmistakable smoky voice of Annie Lennox hid in the background of Jillian Iva's scorchingly soulful vocals. The raw energy of Joan Jett and the Runaways coursed though each and every song. Of course, Von Iva, an all female San Francisco band are neither.

The album is dance music with a dark edge propelled by Lay Lay von Guthrie's (an ex Clone) sparse rock steady drum beats, Bex's new wave, electroclash keyboards and Elizabeth Davies (ex 7 Year Bitch member) bouncing in your face baselines. Mixed and mastered by Mark Pistel of Consolidated and Meat Beat Manifesto, Von Iva captures the dance riot attitude of these legendary bands.

Von Iva cite influences ranging from early Tina Turner to Devo and you can hear these in "Not Hot to Trot" as the band teases us into a submissive dance. "I'm a soulshaker, lovemaker", is the chorus of "Soulshakers" and can best be describe by Von Iva's description, "Good shit you can, and will, dance to." The last song on this twenty-minute disk is "Solid Gold". Jillian growls, "We're solid gold. We gotta the cure for your dancin' disease." Believe them.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (for sounding hella sexy)

Van Iva's 6 song EP is available at their website: <a href="http://www.voniva.com">www.voniva.com</a> (also: <a href="http://www.myspace.com/voniva">www.myspace.com/voniva</a>) and includes the "Not Hot To Trot" video. I also saw several copies at Amoeba Records on Haight Street.

Catch Von Iva when they open for the BellRays at Slim's 333 on Sunday, March 27th. The show is the band's record release party.