Monday, September 21

Vivian Girls- 'Everything Goes Wrong'

. Monday, September 21

Vivian Girls could make a nice sideline moonlighting in quirky indie films as the band Michael Cera takes the awkward girl from maths class to see. The film is probably called something like ‘Pretty In Punk’ and as Cera shuffles uncomfortably Vivian Girls walk past and say something along the lines of “Skateboarding is rad” shortly before you leave the cinema vowing never to return. With ‘cute’ nicknames like Kickball Katie and Cassie Ramone this three piece from California take the blue print Black Lips have been hauling around the world and give it a feminine edge complete with jagged harmonies and surprisingly tender lyrics. ‘Everything Goes Wrong’, the bands second album, is a notable step up from last years self titled debut record and despite being recorded in just nine days shows that the potential shown on that first album is most definitely real.

The lo-fi production and distorted fuzz still remains though as album opener ‘Walking Alone At Night’ quickly reassures fans but ‘Everything Goes Wrong’ captures the Girls much more honestly by recording the vocals bare so that the sweet harmonies are clear for all to hear. It would be obvious and patronising to say ‘Everything Goes Wrong’ is indebted to the likes of alt.femme icons Sleater Kinney and Hole. Despite being reminiscent of the latter’s attitude the truth is you’re more likely to hear the work of The Ramones or The Misfits in the clattering disposition of ‘Can’t Get Over You’ or ‘I Have No Fun’ whilst as with everything coming out of LA in recent years the noise pop arm of No Age is draped over the girls shoulders.

Alongside the clearer vocals another new trick in Vivian Girls arsenal is elongated songs. Where before everything was sub 120 seconds we’re now privy to lengthy epics such as the childlike ‘When I’m Gone’ and the positively prog four and a half minutes of ‘Double Vision’. This extra time is not necessarily an improvement however as much of the appeal of Vivian Girls is their don’t give a fuck attitude that is suited to brevity. The longer the band dwell on a subject the more they lose some of their mystique and aura. Adding gas to the fire of this theory are the wild and snappy ‘I Have No Fun’ and ‘You’re My Guy’. ‘Everything Goes Wrong’ is an excellent step in the right direction for Vivian Girls proving that beyond the obvious criticisms of the scene they come from there are talented songwriters just waiting to be unleashed.

They may be ripped and torn to shreds but Vivian Girls prove you don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Wouldn’t that make a great tagline for Pretty In Punk?





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