Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Album Reviews
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-14-2008, 01:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
This Space for Rent
 
Brad Stengel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 814
Default Brad Stengel 2008

Well, I know I havent finished my top 25 of 2006- the task proved to be much more tedious than I had imagined, but in any case, this thread will be devoted to my reviews of albums I purchased in 2008. The big difference here is that while my 2006 thread featured almost no post 2000 output and was heavy on the 80's and 70's, this top ten list features 3/4ths music released in this decade, with three albums released this year. Whether its because I've finally embraced the modern underground wholeheartedly, or because the 'well has run dry' so to speak, of great albums released twenty years ago, for me, I don't know. In any case this is a much different list, and alot of people have already expressed dissent at many of the albums Ill be featuring. So in otherwords, I hope this list is more fun to bitch about.
__________________
These is the musics I own:
http://rateyourmusic.com/collection/BradStengel/oo
Brad Stengel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2008, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
This Space for Rent
 
Brad Stengel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 814
Default

#10

Vivian Girls
"Vivian Girls" (2008)


"Vivian Girls'" self titled album has nothing breathtakingly original on it. Most of the negative reviews I read about them can be split up into two groups: one was composed of people lamenting that they sounded like "Tiger Trap with more noise" or that they had no originality. The other was basically people whose gag reflexes act up when they listen to The Vaselines or The Shaggs, two bands that remind me alot of Vivian Girls.

That being said, none of these reviews kept me from picking up this album for two fundamental reasons: one, even since the days of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, theres been no truly original band in Rock and Roll that you cant go back further and trace their sound from. Even The Velvet Underground you could argue was just a fusion of Bob Dylan and avant garde jazz. The argument "It's been done before" sometimes can prove useful when maligning the 'new' flavor of the month pop-rock group, but the truth is, if you look hard enough, you can say it about every band. Reason two: I really like those K Records bands that Vivian Girls are supposovely ripping off.

While the all girl three piece band might not hide their influences well, it's not to say that they aren't any more creative than say, Interpol, who takes their 80's influences (including such variety as Joy Division, Ian Curtis, Joy Division, and early New Order), and simply add a slight modern spin to it. Vivian Girls take the naive, messy punk-pop-folk of Beat Happening and turn it up to 11. The melodies are still there, and the simple lyrics about ex-boyfriends and guys with 'Wild Eyes', only the guitar is so loud you have to pay close attention just to hear what the chord changes are. Add in a fondness for surf beats, and there you have it, an album that's my third favorite of 2008.

While the album only has 10 songs and clocks in at around 30 minutes, the relistenability factor is still high for me. I keep this one close to my stereo, whether Im in the mood for the fast, messy, one-word thrasher 'No', the gorgeous amateaur noise-pop-punk of 'Wild Eyes', or the all around awesomeness of 'Never See Me Again'. Anyone into 80's K Records bands, or interested in amateur noise punk in general, will find lots to love on this record.
__________________
These is the musics I own:
http://rateyourmusic.com/collection/BradStengel/oo
Brad Stengel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2009, 05:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
Pale and Wan
 
Fruitonica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Aus
Posts: 915
Default

I think they could have dialled down the fuzz a little and given the vocals slightly more prominence, because with such a disguised melody the songs sound slightly homogeneous.

But it's still a fun energetic listen, and it doesn't outstay its welcome.
Fruitonica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2009, 06:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
Music Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,221
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Stengel View Post
#10

Vivian Girls
"Vivian Girls" (2008)


"Vivian Girls'" self titled album has nothing breathtakingly original on it. Most of the negative reviews I read about them can be split up into two groups: one was composed of people lamenting that they sounded like "Tiger Trap with more noise" or that they had no originality. The other was basically people whose gag reflexes act up when they listen to The Vaselines or The Shaggs, two bands that remind me alot of Vivian Girls.

That being said, none of these reviews kept me from picking up this album for two fundamental reasons: one, even since the days of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, theres been no truly original band in Rock and Roll that you cant go back further and trace their sound from. Even The Velvet Underground you could argue was just a fusion of Bob Dylan and avant garde jazz. The argument "It's been done before" sometimes can prove useful when maligning the 'new' flavor of the month pop-rock group, but the truth is, if you look hard enough, you can say it about every band. Reason two: I really like those K Records bands that Vivian Girls are supposovely ripping off.

While the all girl three piece band might not hide their influences well, it's not to say that they aren't any more creative than say, Interpol, who takes their 80's influences (including such variety as Joy Division, Ian Curtis, Joy Division, and early New Order), and simply add a slight modern spin to it.
Nice review, though I think it's a pity you had to spend so much time writing on the defense. It's obvious that anybody who takes shots at Vivian Girls for "being unoriginal" is plainly retarded. There's no attempt from this band to hide their influences: it's not supposed to be in the slightest bit original. What it IS supposed to be is a bunch of really catchy, addictive, great short tracks conforming to a particular musical aesthetic. And that much, it is. So it fulfils its aims perfectly well.

Cripes, if people want to cast aspersions on types of modern music for being unoriginal, then you might as repudiate entire genres - some of which exhibit about as much originality as a fast-food franchise.
Rainard Jalen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



2003-2019 Advameg, Inc.

SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.