Music Reviews
Vivian Girls

Vivian Girls

Vivian Girls

In The Red

Even though the truly superlative Crystal Stilts stole their drummer away, the Vivian Girls don’t sell the sting at all, bashing away joyously and mightily as if nothing was amiss. And what a glorious noise they make! The Vivian Girls are a brash, spikey, black candy caramel sticky mix of The Vaselines, Jesus and Mary Chain, Lush, Thee Headcoatees, Pond, and the Pastels. Vivian Girls (the album) mixes rough-and-tumble playground exuberance with an almost gothic sense of drama; liquid eyeliner ‘n’ tears. Less cutesy and innocent than completely in love with noise and expression. The guitars sound all churn-y and sheet metal distorted like early Dinosaur Jr, the vocals are too cool for school, distant, icy and slightly off-key, while the drums are a grand clatter and din. Songs race by at a median length of around two minutes – bonus!

“Such A Joke” is a wonder, with a beat pinched from the Ronettes via the JAMC, a roar of guitar noise overlaid by tight vocal harmonies that recall a (punker) Mamas and the Papas. “Going Insane” could be a hardcore song in more testosteroned and clumsy hands, but here it’s velocity pop self-doubt wrapped in itchy sheets of white noise and a final frustrated yelp of “It’s hard!” “Tell the World” is a classic bad-girl leather jacket anthem full of so much teenage delinquent disaffection and sass; everyone vocalizes in a snotty monotone over a driving, punchy punkoid beat and tinfoil guitars. “No” and “Never See Me Again” sounds like a recasting of early hardcore, lightning fast tempos and off-tune vocals delivering lyrics full of self-doubt and loathing alongside rat-tat-tat drumbeats, but it’s an entirely different thing. This is snottier, noisier, kinder and more welcoming all at once. “I Believe In Nothing” is the perfect ending – a nihilistic drone worthy of Joy Division, full of icy-voiced gothic menace constantly subsumed by endless waves of candy-apple-n-razorblades pop and hiss.

Vivian Girls is a beguiling mix of innocent and worldly sounds. Not for uptight fucks with snoozer notions of instrumental proficiency.

In The Red: http://www.intheredrecords.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Greg Hoy

Greg Hoy

Interviews

Fascinated by the arcane world of musical gear, Randy Radic spoke with dyed-in-the-wool gearhead Greg Hoy about his setup on new EP Holy Mother of God, how he produces his unique sound, and a gear-gone-wrong moment.

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson

Event Reviews

Joe Jackson brought his Two Rounds of Racket tour to the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C. on Monday. Bob Pomeroy was in the area and caught the show.

Matías Meyer

Matías Meyer

Interviews

With only a week to go before powerful new feature Louis Riel or Heaven Touches The Earth premieres in the Main Slate at UNAM International Film Festival, Lily and Generoso sat down for an in-depth conversation with the film’s director, Matías Meyer.

Mostly True

Mostly True

Print Reviews

Carl F. Gauze reviews the fascinating Mostly True: The West’s Most Popular Hobo Graffiti Magazine, a chronicle of forgotten outsider subculture.

The Tin Star

The Tin Star

Screen Reviews

Anthony Mann’s gorgeous monochrome western, The Tin Star, may have been shot in black and white, but its themes are never that easily defined.