Vivian Girls: Everything Goes Wrong

Music Reviews Vivian Girls
Vivian Girls: Everything Goes Wrong

What if Beach House was a Stooges tribute band?

How to be a Vivian Girl in four simple steps: 1. Write a darkly sweet indie-pop ditty that rages like punk rock. 2. Record it on an ancient Radio Shack tape recorder inside an aluminum garbage can. 3. ????. 4. Profit! It’s hard to say why no-fi rock music is so hot right now, unless it’s a reaction against our slick Auto-Tuned era, but their sophomore album clearly places this Brooklyn trio at the head of the shitgaze pack. Under all the slashing power chords and atmospheric scuzz lies a killer pop instinct, which you can hear in the girl-group harmonies buried in “I Have No Fun,” and how the guitar doubles the vocal line on “I’m Not Asleep.” The songs are brief, noisy bursts, bratty but walloping. Rock diehards might scorn the weak solos, but Vivian Girls compensate with rock-solid rhythm and roughshod passion. And most importantly, they’re hinting at new directions here: “Tension” is a standout track, with ragged harmonies (think Wire on “Reuters”) bubbling up from a dusky post-punk morass.

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