Tuesday November 11, 2008·
In addition to sharing the name of one of Melbourne's finest bygone groups, Brooklyn's Vivian Girls sound Australian in other Chapter Music / best indie senses. The trio's head-first, shambling delivery couches a classic handling of melody reminiscent of QLD greats Small World Experience, and there's a joy of fuzz and bubblegum sentiment reminiscent of Adelaide's Hit the Jackpot and Lindsey Low Hand. For antipodean listeners then, the debut album Vivian Girls mightn't be the revelation it's been to Americans - who only now seem to be catching onto Oceanic garage pop of yore. Of the current crop of US indies, though - Times New Viking, Eat Skull - Vivian Girls proceed the easiest; never sounding put-on, or strategically shambolic.
Because the band take no chances stylistically, and because it runs at just twenty minutes, Vivian Girls is ostensibly slight. Songs are dressed-down in the same tinny reverb, roused surf rhythms, tambourine glimmer and 3-way vocal harmonies, yet each emerges as a clear-cut tune, and each is catchy as all fuck. Opener 'All the Time' sets up a dream syndicate of B-52s' pogo, Ramones' Blitzkreig pop and Electrelane's moody femininity. 'Such a Joke' has Breeders' crush lyricism and bass hinting at our own Love of Diagrams. 'Where Do You Run To' is one the year's best tunes - natural as walking down the stairs, sing-able by clusters of schoolgirls, doused in longing and the perfect way to waste time.