A relentlessly nice collection of bluegrass and western swing tunes that sets out to reflect the Canadian landscape and life experiences.
Viper Central are a group of five young friends from British Columbia who became a band while in their 20s. They are Kathleen Nisbet (fiddle), Steve Charles (guitar, banjo), Tim Tweedale (steel guitars), Mark Vaughan (mandolin) and Patrick Metzger (bass).
Nisbet is the lead songwriter and most prominent singer. Her most noteworthy song is I Won't Be Left Behind about Katherine O’Hare - an independent woman who crossed the Rockies on foot in the 19th century.
The pre-publicity promises "barn-burning tempos" and a radical revamp of the bluegrass genre but it all sounds moderately paced and pretty conventional to my ears.
In consequence, a little goes a long way and fourteen tracks seems a mighty long haul.
At the end of the middle of the road tunes lies a version of Gram Parsons' Luxury Liner which they manage to make sound as bland as all that precedes it.
Viper Central's website