Times New Viking's debut on Matador, 'Rip It Off', is a noisy scuzzy art-thrash trip through the teenage tribulations of an Ohioan three-piece obsessed with 'Teen Drama' and fitting in versus not bothering. With barely distinguishable lyrics, clattering hi-hats and a distorted guitar distorting the speakers it's playing out of, they are DIY pop-punk enthusiasts with no interest in tidying up their sound for anyone. No retreat no surrender etcera. Sounding like unrefined versions of Pavement and Yo La Tengo, they are hopeful, wide-eyed and immature in quick successful, with hopeful man-woman melodies and an assymetric guitar rumbling along.
Where 'Rip It Off' succeeds in its self-aware unwillingness to sound refined and clean. They make songs, they want us to hear the songs, what does it matter how beautiful and studio-magic they sound if the emotion is there, if it's throbbing with rock-tensity and punk-ibility. This makes an initially difficult listen grow sweeter with each listen, as the melodies and the harmonies start to lift themselves out of the scuzzy mix and you appreciate the textures they are operating on.
Times New Viking's final song is a nod to any comparisons with Yo La Tengo. It's called, amazingly, 'Times New Viking vs Yo La Tengo'. It's a funny, Yo La Tengo-ish romp, showcasing their self-belief and their appreciation for their influences, what came before them and how it shaped them. So many bands wear their influences on their sleeves, but very rarely do they celebrate them in as literal a way as Times New Viking do here. Album highlights include the pleasing 'Teen Drama' and 'Post Teen Drama' bookends, the slightly sardonic 'The Early 80s' and the sombre 'End of All Things.' By the time you hear the joyous conquering noise of finale, 'Post Teen Drama' you will start believing Times New Viking can save lives and punk can cure the blues.
Hello and welcome and yeah... in an oversaturated blog-o-glob... we throw our 2 dubloons in.
Avocado Picker: 28, author, journalist... specialist subjects include: the Wire, the post X-Files career of Agent Scully, Bollywood music 1950-1970, Spider-man, Dare Devil, The Sopranos, British comedy 1990-present, the complete works of Chuck Palahniuk and Aniruddha Bahal, Arnie films pre- True Lies, and different uses for cheese in culinary situations.
The Mystery Voice: 30, software engineer, time waster... specialist subjects include: Linux (etc), C++ & PHP (and other animals, yawn), Physics (blah), British comedy past and present (yay), grand master Mornington Crescent (huh?), the incomplete works of Douglas Adams and Bill Bailey (wtf?)