Vivian Girls miss it by THAT much

vivian girls everything goes wrong

It’s easy to get caught up in a trend. Remember when pogs were in and you totally bought a purple slammer with a skull and “Poison” on it? I don’t think I ever actually used that slammer. In the last couple years, a lo-fi trend has been sweeping the music world, with blogs giving great popularity to artists like Wavves, Crystal Stilts and Vivian Girls. The genre is marked by a heavy, lazy sound wrapped up in a blanket of fuzzy noise. Just like it was recorded in basement! A lot of the bands have released quality recordings that deserve praise, but it’s just so easy to get caught up in the hype.

The new album by all-girl trio Vivian Girls is, unfortunately, a victim of hype. The band’s debut self-titled album arrived to critical acclaim last year, delivering gloomy pop songs thrown in a blender with a distortion pedal and a broken amp. The songs were downtrodden, yet catchy, and helped further the lo-fi phenomenon. Their sophomore release, Everything Goes Wrong, out now only a year later, is considerably less exciting, yet frustratingly well-written.

The girls didn’t seem to have much time to record the album, and it sounds rushed. Gone are the catchy pop tunes and the excitement of a young band on the rise. In their place are a series of very solid rock songs that just don’t hook like you want them to. The band didn’t make a bad record by any means; they just didn’t make a great one. While songs satisfy, they just don’t quite grab you. And that’s what’s so frustrating.

One glaring exception is the remarkably fun “Can’t Get Over You.” It’s simple and cute and sticks in your head all day. It also showcases what Vivian Girls do best: gritty fuzzpop. “I Have No Fun,” on the other hand, exemplifies the frustrating struggle of Everything Goes Wrong. While it’s a wonderful fuzz-anthem full of despair and hopelessness, it just doesn’t quite meet the standards the band set on their first release. Missed it by THAT much. And “that” is so little that I consider ignoring it. But ignoring it is like ignoring the fact that I didn’t even really have any use for a slammer. I only liked the idea of having one, but boy was it fun to have.

Vivian Girls – “Can’t Get Over You” [MP3]

Vivian Girls – “I Have No Fun” [MP3]

Vivian Girls – “Double Vision” [MP3]

Buy Everything Goes Wrong on iTunes

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