Fresh off a wild two day, album release party on October 3rd and 4th at The Spot Underground in Providence, RI, hometown favorites Viral Sound have finally released their long-awaited debut album, Exposure.

Speaking about the album, guitarist/vocalist Charley Zahringer said, “After hearing the crowd’s cries for studio material, we set out to create an album that would utilize some of the best in-studio technology currently available,” hence leading the band to record the album at RI’s premier recording facility The Castle.  Zahringer continued, “We really wanted to convey our passion for the improvisational style of live performance that our fans know and expect from Viral Sound, while also delivering a noticeably mastered, concise product that people will listen to again and again.”

This balance between live improvisation and well-rehearsed, clean-sounding playing is for sure what Viral Sound has accomplished with Exposure.  Inherently, most jam bands find it difficult to truly capture their “live sound” on record because of intangibles that make their shows so unique- improvisation, crowd participation, visual imagery, etc.  For Viral Sound, one would think that this would be even more difficult, as the band often employs high quality visual projections and light shows in their live performances. 

Here’s a video that the band has created as a promo for Exposure’s release and the band’s supporting tour.

On Exposure, Viral Sound has successfully managed to capture their organic and natural live sound, while maintaining the integrity and superb sound quality of an album that has obviously been recorded and mastered with much attention to detail. 

Bringing this sound to life are Jordan Giangreco’s synthesizers and keys, which create a nice balance between classical piano tones on tracks like “Lead the Way” and “Time Waits”, as well as deliciously groovy and downright spacey leads on the dance- inducing tracks like “Clusteroid”.  “Time Waits” also showcases guitarist Charley Zahringer’s clean, funky rhythms and his pristine, well-timed solos which always seem to serve the songs well, especially on “Lead the Way”. 

Ariel Moore’s on-point bass lines and lead vocals are also a staple throughout the entire album, and his vocals in particular often remind me very much of a certain Grateful Dead singer (“cough” Jerry “cough”).  Add to that the consistent drumming and interesting fills of Dan Rourke (drums/epad) and Chris Ottaviano (auxiliary percussion), and you can see why this quintet is able to so seamlessly expand upon these songs in a live setting. 

Viral Sound will follow up Exposure’s release with an aggressive Northeast tour hitting every state in New England. 

See for dates and details.  To download their live shows for free, go here.

Mark McGwin 10/15/14