Vivian Girls - Share The Joy

Album cover
Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Post-Punk
Polyvinyl Records
Vivian Girls
Share The Joy
Vivian Girls - Share The Joy Review rating:
3
User rating:
Average: 3 (1 vote)

It is somewhat fitting that after the exit of another drummer for the greener pastures of West-Coast living, New Jersey natives Cassie Ramone (vocals/guitar) and Katy “Kickball Katy” Goodman (bass/drums/vocals) would return back to the sugar-sweet lo-fi that initially propelled them from the Brooklyn streets. Do not mistake my intent, Everything Goes Wrong (2009) was no Fun House (1969) but it was a more decidedly abrasive record compared to their 2008 self-titled debut. More in the vein of classic punk rock than a smorgasbord of cues to early nineties indie-rock and classic pop; Everything Goes Wrong saw The Girls take a step sideways, almost completely avoiding the onslaught (and eventual backlash) of surfy lo-fi guitar rock. So not only is it ironic that founding drummer Frankie Rose and her replacement Ali Koehler departed for similar acts (Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast respectively) but Vivian Girls still, outside of a select few others, hold command over this “shitgaze” genre they helped usher in on the East Coast. Even more so that Share The Joy's two best songs are the six-minute-plus opener and closer who are just as elegantly brooding as anything off their last, darker album.

“I don't want to spend my time like/The other girls” Ramone laments on the poised opener “The Other Girls” in her usual monotone Kim Gordon-with-a-tune delivery. You cannot really discredit the girl; while many of their peers are floating along on the virtues of their gracious vocal talents (looking at you Dee Dee and Bethany Cosentino) the Vivian Girls build their music upon solid song-writing, expansive post-punk ambitions stuffed into great guitar rock. Their elegant vocal melodies always seem to take a back seat, at least concerning how their albums a mixed. Not that this is a bad thing; for all intents and purposes Cassie Ramone sounds like absolute shit on record (very much unlike a live setting)--but she is trafficking in punk rock. So does it really matter? No. Sugary pop-punk gems like “Dance (If You Wanna),” “Sixteen Ways,” “I Heard You Say” and the wonderful sixties inspired call-and-response of “Take It As It Comes” (“Cassie/You're always right”) balance just the right amount of punk abandon and poppy pomp. With “Light In Your Eyes” and all its Joy Division-inspired sprawl closing off the record superbly. It is just a shame everything else in between could easily be mistaken for the same song. Good guitar rock from a band who is (hopefully) still yet to reach their precipice, but has not really disappointed. If only because they set the bar in the first place.

1. The Other Girls
2. I Heard You Say
3. Dance (If You Wanna)
4. Lake House
5. Trying to Pretend
6. Sixteen Ways
7. Take It As It Comes
8. Vanishing of Time
9. Death
10. Light in Your Eyes

There is more than one artist that has used this name.
1. A popular indie rock band from Brooklyn, New York
2. An indie band from Melbourne, Australia
3. A band from St. Louis, Missouri

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