Times New Viking
No pain, no gain. It’s an old one, but that could be the slogan Times New Viking keep in mind when recording their albums in that crude, eye-wateringly lo-fi style that could make a seasoned roadie for Melt Banana wince. People who braved the wall of fuzz on albums like 2008’s ‘Rip It Off’ however, were rewarded with perfectly likeable pop songs of almost Moldy-Peaches-like tweeness. It is that latter, rather hidden side of Ohio’s noisy hipsters that presents itself to London’s Cargo, with bouncy, simplistic garage pop in the vein of Beat Happening and a budget version of early Guided By Voices. Keyboard player/vocalist Beth Murphy, wearing in a skin-tight (and thus somewhat distracting) American Apparel top, is bopping along to drummer Adam Elliott’s rumbling patterns and sings over, around and past his breathless yelps in an endearing fashion. It is axeman Jared Phillips however, who steals the show. Looking like a session guitarist from an 80’s goth-pop-band in his tucked-in shirt, he fires drony chords, and agricultural but practically gut-punching riffs out of his left-handed white Strat. The band’s designated hit ‘(My Head)’ briefly sparks a circle pit more resembling a campfire sing-along, but that’s just fine with everyone involved: No bleeding ears tonight.
By Matthias Scherer
Originally published in issue 13 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. December 2009