By Vivian Girls
The achingly hip Vivian Girls are back with their second album 'Everything Goes Wrong' on In the Red records, which is really churning out some great stuff at the moment. The last album was ferocious, yet flimsy sounding, as the girls revelled in a 1-2-3-4, bash-it-out ethos. This album follows on in much the same vein, maybe with a bit less of their exterior noise rattling through each track. 'Everything Goes Wrong' is more deep and chunky sounding, and has a distressed streak, as the title would indicate I guess.
The obvious influences have survived from the first album - 60s girl groups, the twee pop aesthetics and driving wipers momentum. They're certainly retro, but not necessarily in a tiresome or pointless way. What the Vivian Girls give you is unadulterated homage to these classic sounds. And that's exactly why the Vivian Girls are good, not because they're breaking any new ground, but because the stuff that they dig is great pop music. When people are banding around phrases like 'mature song writing' with regards to this group, I think they've missed the point.
It seems this album is advocating the nerdy. Like bringing a little bit of your favourite film into real life, or pretending you're in the Ramones. It's fine to do these things, and listening to 'Everything Goes Wrong' makes you want to retrace some of the pop linage, maybe listen to some Shangri-Las, maybe even rattle off a couple of dumb bubblegum punk songs of your own. Tracks such 'Tension,' with its glorious, primitive and impassioned howling perhaps make this album more memorable than the last. You will catch yourself humming along afterwards. I think it's fair to say Vivian Girls have gone full steam ahead into an album that they've had fun with, prudently steering clear of any far-out, second album follies and sticking to the tried and tested. It's bristling with the same intensity as the first, but with a more channelled approach to the rapid delivery of these pop chunks.