My god what a storm this little band has brewed up over the past year. My first exposure to the trio was back in January, when I saw them play at the Tea Bazaar in Charlottesville, VA. They deployed simple, noisy pop songs; I enjoyed them and picked up a demo CD and t-shirt afterwards.
Little did I know that a handful of months later they would be the love ‘em/hate ‘em-toast/roast of the internet/Brooklyn. They’ve received praise and sexism, love and insults, exposure and criticism. This, their debut full-length, sold out in 10 days when it was first released in May. I think it’s a shame that, for the most part, their music has been overshadowed by this huge onslaught of yay- and nay-saying. They’re both a product and a victim of this age.
Vivian Girls are nothing amazing or innovative, but they approach music from a fun, simple and ultimately successful direction. “Wild Eyes,” “Tell The World” and “Where Do You Run?” are the standouts, but generally the group opts for songs that are noisy, not too forceful, not too substantive, but still good pop diddies. Vivian Girls are no Sleater-Kinney, but they aren’t trying to be.
If it were possible to wipe away every blog comment and mp3 posted in the past six months, Vivian Girls would be that nice little band that you randomly saw play once and might perchance stumble across again. You might pull out their seven-inch every once in a while and give it a spin. Instead they’ve been championed as greater than they are (and probably ever dreamed to be) and shot down from that pedestal by the members of the same system that erected it. Such is life, I suppose. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, since 2008 has taken them on quite an overwhelming ride.
Check out Index Magazine’s playlist to hear Vivian Girls’ cover of the Wipers’ “Telepathic Love,” along with a description of the track that I wrote.