I've been crowing about how Times New Viking was writing great, hooky pop songs and then playing them sloppy and distorted, with an extra layer of distortion put on to make sure you really wanted to hear what they were doing and were willing to put the work out. With Dancer Equired, I got my wish that they'd clear some of that slush out, but now I don't know what to think of it.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Times New Viking - Don't Go To Liverpool
After a few days of listening to Dancer Equired I couldn't remember what TNV had sounded like on their first four albums. When I went back, what I found sounded like a bad recording of a live show, which I know is what they had been going for the whole time, and now that I could hear their songs, suddenly this is an indie rock band, in the tradition of Guided By Voices or, what I really can't stop thinking, The Moldy Peaches.
I don't know how you go from Pussy Galore to The Moldy Peaches in one album. From straining to hear shit hot rock songs buried in noise and poor recording quality to just somewhat lo-fi recording and clear, endearing melodies (though none of the Peaches sometimes overplayed clever sarcasm). Tracks like "Don't Go To Liverpool," and there are several like this, remind me a bit of pop punkers Mixtapes, if the left out the skate punk parts. On a previous TNV album, there's be a huge, static-y riff on there, and part of me hopes they have one in concert.
If anything kills the momentum Times New Viking has gathered in the last two years, though, I don't think it'll be the shift in recording quality. Much as I've enjoyed the album, it sounds like a different band. Not bad, just different. For a lot of people other than myself, however, different equals bad. Give Dancer Equired a chance to warm up to you. The knowledge that there was a soul beneath all that feedback and static is reason enough.
Buy Dancer Equired from Amazon.