Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls (Cover Artwork)

Vivian Girls

Vivian Girls: Vivian GirlsVivian Girls (2008)
In The Red Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
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It is pretty much a rule that nothing will intrigue and entice the human mind like that which is contradictory. I mean, Hüsker Dü even wrote a song about it, and you just don't question a band with umlauts in their name. It's like a pair of eyes. You're looking at the umlaut, and it's looking at you. From this you can see as plainly as the scruff on my face why bands that often get pegged with the clashing tag of "noise pop" have gotten a lot of buzz this year (get it? buzz? zzzzz? ehn? ehn?). Brooklyn's Vivian Girls fall into this category with an approach that lays somewhere between Henry's Dress and Tiger Trap in the post-C86 universe. Their sense of melody is brought forth cleanly enough that you'll be humming and singing along as you make your bed but there is enough speed and dissonance that you'll be crashing around and messing it up in no time. So instead you should probably forget making your bed and just listen to the record.

With a band name that references Henry Darger and members with names like Cassie Ramone there is a certain assumption of rambunctious fun, and rambunctious fun is what you get. The layered echoic vocals utilized on songs like "Such a Joke" and "Tell the World" help add to the sense of the recording being a fun and inclusive jaunt like a night out with friends serenading passers-by on the night train. This vocal harmonizing combined with the jangle of the band's guitars harkens back to a bygone era before a gang of Liverpudlians came along and spoiled all the fun with their kidney pie, blood pudding and let-it-being.

Most of the album keeps up a frenzied pace that adds to these feelings of delight, but when the band brings things down a notch they don't lose a step, such as the forlorn "Where Do You Run To." The song perfectly captures the shoegazey low rumble of a band like the Jesus and Mary Chain with the added beauty of the band's soaring vocals for one of the album's standout tracks.

Another aspect of the album that stands out is these ladies' lyrical style, with most of the songs center around repeated refrains that really stick their hooks. This is taken to a whole other level when the band does the unthinkable and is able to make no mean yes, on "No," where that singular word is repeated over and over without getting the slightest bit annoying.

It is a brief 10-song album with more than half the songs clocking in at under two minutes, but there is zero filler and you'll want to flip the record back over as soon as the last chord is rung on "All the Time." Where a band like Times New Viking falls a little short on the hype because their noisier aspects interfere with their pop songwriting, Vivian Girls' two sides compliment each other to deliver the goods on this compact and well-written debut.


People who liked this also liked:
Dear Landlord - Dream HomesOperation Ivy - Operation IvyX-Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescents [expanded]Ramones - RamonesNight Birds - Night Birds [7-inch]The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Question the AnswersChinese Telephones - Chinese TelephonesRichard Hell and The Voidoids - Blank GenerationBlack Flag - DamagedThe Stooges - Raw Power

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Blackula (January 28, 2009)

I don't get it! Seriously, this band is NOT good. I'm sure all you pathetic Williamsburgh or New Brunswick douchebag hipsters think this is great. Well you're just not honest or trying to be oh so very cool. Well strangle yourselves with your gay scarves, ride your shitty fixed gear bikes into bus traffic or just get a god damn clue...
this band SUCKS. Fugly girls "playing" shitty music should be illegal in this country.

grafixx (December 22, 2008)

best part about these girls is the fact that their name seems to be a shout-out to the concept that led Fucked Up to write a song of the same name.

i heard the record once or twice. it's not really my type of music, but i didn't dislike it.

branden (December 21, 2008)

this album is awesome. it kinda reminds me of unrest, which rules.

joeg (December 21, 2008)

love this record. this will be on my top 10 list for sure.

billnye (December 20, 2008)

It's okay. I don't know, I feel like I can just pop in tiger trap or the shop assistants and enjoy it more.

mattramone (December 20, 2008)

A pretty good record. In the Red can seemingly do no wrong.

thereveling (December 20, 2008)

i just don't get the appeal of this band.

Xote (December 20, 2008)

One of the best records of 2008!!!

This band is awesome it's shoegazy but punk as fuck all at the same time. Very cool.

adam (December 20, 2008)

One of my favourite records of the year.


SloaneDaley (December 20, 2008)

I saw this band once and thought they were really boring and repetitive. Even they looked bored.

Wow that's really surprising, what sold me on them was their live show. They all looked like they were having a blast and in turn so was everyone else.

Also to whoever asked yes they are featured on the new Fucked Up album.

usversusthem (December 20, 2008)

Score is for everyone who appreciated the review; I was expecting to see all sorts of hateful comments. It was a very fun tone... I don't think we get enough reviews like this.

thus_spoke_sean (December 20, 2008)

score is for review.

and also for making fun of the Beatles

im been meaning to check this out, i think now i will.

cyborgfrance (December 20, 2008)

"This vocal harmonizing combined with the jangle of the band’s guitars harkens back to a bygone era before a gang of Liverpudlians came along and spoiled all the fun with their kidney pie, blood pudding and let-it-being."


Score is for the review. I may eventually check these guys out - they're on the new Fucked Up album as well, yeah?

bluexmaslights (December 19, 2008)

i've heard a lot of buzzzz about these guys, but only listened to their myspace stuff. i think i'll check this out, good review

inagreendase (December 19, 2008)

I saw this band once and thought they were really boring and repetitive. Even they looked bored.

Good review, though.

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