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Vivian Girls

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iTunes Review

Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls take their cue from indie-pop-punk bands of years past (from shoegazers to reverb-drenched Phil Spector idolators), but on their short, sweet 10-track debut, they bury hooks — or something like them — in layers and leave it to the listener to coax them out into the open (the Girls share a certain primitivism with California’s No Age). With guitars and drums delivered in a steady and rather monotone style, they serve up a barrage of carefully controlled noise with glorious three-part girl harmonies topping it off like pink butter cream frosting (yum); but when a song ends, the yearned for hook is difficult to recall. Why, then, does “No” (that’s the entire lyric to song, repeated over and over) re-surface in your head hours after listening? The cyclical four notes of “Wild Eyes” flirt like a hook while you’re listening but dissipate when the song ends (like the best flirts do), and the shy, descending bass lines of  “Tell the World” resemble a hook enough to push the vintage sounding guitars straight into a reluctant spotlight: this track is killer.  In a rare moment of comparative quietude, “Where Do You Run To?” offers a sweet respite from the noise. Much like a morning after, Vivian Girls is short on details but conjures a blurred memory of a darn good time.

Customer Reviews

Better than Palomar!

Anybody who remembers Palomar and thinks they were pretty good, but not great, will probably think this is better. Vivian Girls goes for the the Replacements strand of the old school punk aesthetic, and throws in a bit of the Bratmobile strand of riot grrrl - this is lo-fi, basic music, emotionally distant, but lyrically direct. It sounds great to me. Not the best or most enthralling music of the year (and I don't understand Pitchfork's 8.5), but any weirdo who has, at some moment, felt he or she is just barely containing his or her annoyance with most social situations should find this a satisfying listen.

I hear what you mean...

They sound sort of like The Shaggs... (perhaps the most annoying band....Ever...) only they can play their instruments...

Check'em Out

I saw these girls play at the Silent Barn in Queen couple weeks back; they rocked. If you're feeling like some grungey surf punk than look no further. I find it a bonus as well that the album does not exceed twenty minutes; the perfect amount of time to really rock out with tight progressions and speed.


Formed: 2007 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Deriving their name from the ill-fated characters featured in the work of writer/illustrator Henry Darger, the Vivian Girls (not to be confused with the "craft pop" duo of the same name) are a Brooklyn-based trio whose gritty, lo-fi tunes nod to seminal indie pop acts like Black Tambourine, Talulah Gosh, and Tiger Trap. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Cassie Ramone, bassist Kickball Katy (Goodman), and drummer Ali Koehler, the Vivian Girls sprang into the indie circuit in 2008 with a handful of 7"...
Full Bio
Vivian Girls, Vivian Girls
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