Vitabeats was an Australian husband and wife duo (with accompanying musicians) consisting of songwriter / guitarist and backing vocalist Andrew Barnum, and lead vocalist Lissa Barnum.
They hit the charts with their funk-styled single "Boom Box", and then followed that up with the soundalike "Audrey" (a tribute to Audrey Hepburn). Neither of those songs really won me over at the time, and to this day I cannot remember why I decided to buy the complete album, but I've been forever glad I did.
When I first listened to Spot the Spanner
, I was taken by surprise when - after "Boom Box" got things underway - came "Difficult Ideas", a very different and more streamlined piece of pop, and I realised the album sounded like it was going to be a more eclectic listen than I was expecting, and that's exactly what I got.
Spot the Spanner
(I don't understand the title or artwork) is an exceptionally catchy slice of mid-eighties pop, with heavy percussion and some memorable tunes, as well as inventive arrangements. Lissa Barnum's jerky-gasping vocal stylings (a bit like a female David Byrne) are very unusual, and she somehow manages to make all the lyrics sound important, even if they come across as simplistic, as with "Red Brick House" and "Build It Right", that almost seems like something that one might come across on Play School
At its best, the music is terrific, from the heavy-pounding, cacophony of noise that is "Savages", to the bounciness of "Jungle Rodeo" and "Disposable Love". "Difficult Ideas" and "Red Brick House" are irresistibly grabbing as well.
by Reviewer: The Doctor