music
8th April 2011

Album: Vivian Girls – Share The Joy

With their latest effort, this all-female trio from Brooklyn seek to surpass their ordinary, hastily executed kitsch in pursuit of a more exploratory sound. Emerging from the noise-pop scene of New York that has manufactured the equally derivative Crystal Stilts, the Vivian Girls have reveled in their unpolished and hurried style, stubbornly sticking to their uncompromising, primitive clatter. In Share the Joy these achingly hip darlings of Pitchfork, in some ways succeed in going beyond their familiar C86 like jangles.
Album: Vivian Girls – Share The Joy

 

Vivian Girls
Share the Joy
Polyvinyl Record Co.
2 stars

With their latest effort, this all-female trio from Brooklyn seek to surpass their ordinary, hastily executed kitsch in pursuit of a more exploratory sound.  Emerging from the noise-pop scene of New York that has manufactured the equally derivative Crystal Stilts, the Vivian Girls have reveled in their unpolished and hurried style, stubbornly sticking to their uncompromising, primitive clatter. In Share the Joy these achingly hip darlings of Pitchfork, in some ways succeed in going beyond their familiar C86 like jangles.

The albums opener, ‘The Other Girls’, jerks into life with an uproar of noise, evoking the band’s earlier punk inspired output. Yet clocking in at over six minutes, the maiden track not only lasts longer than any previous effort, it is also uncharacteristic in its faith in the value of repetition, allowing the sweet yet slight musings of singer Cassie Ramone to meander towards a satisfying endpoint. The following track, ‘I Heard You Say’, again appeases the listener, regaling a lovelorn tale that relies upon the muddy melodies and girl-band like vocals that have become customary of the Vivian Girls. The fiery, ‘Sixteen Ways’, is more menacing and snarly, with the vocals of Ramone relapsing back into the barely audible mumblings of earlier recordings.

Yet deliberating the good and the bad of an album with a song by song analysis seems rather pointless when it comes to Share the Joy, as here it is difficult to tell when a song begins and another ends. The album suffers due to the limited lo-fi approach, and at times sounds opaque. A decent enough effort which should be praised for its attempted resurrection of past influences, the Vivian Girls unfortunately fail to live up to the benchmark set by their predecessors.

Nathan Godfrey


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