Album Review: Vivian Girls – Vivian Girls




These days, the streets of Brooklyn, New York are being torn up by the rockin’ gals of indie/punk band Vivian Girls. Ironically, while the girls parade the streets, they appear as a walking stereotype (one leggy blonde, an enticing redhead and of course, the brainy brunette) with the goofy names Cassie Ramone (guitar/vocals), Kickball Katy (bass/drums/vocals) and Frankie Rose (drums/bass/vocals). And from the names alone, it’s already apparent that these gals were just looking to have some fun with their debut self-titled album rather than striving for deeper meaning.

Although the young trio recently started receiving praise for their ties to shoegaze and punk, in all honestly, Vivian Girls is nothing to write home about. The feisty record only has 10 tracks, which are almost all under 2 minutes each, and wraps up in a mere 22 minutes! Sounds more like an E.P. already doesn’t it? Well, that’s just the beginning. Vivian Girls is a lo-fi album with inaudible lyrics, shabby sound quality and what seems to be more of an effort for “getting famous” rather than a record holding meaning or substance. That being said, there’s still somewhat of an appreciation for what it is: a record that’s all play and no work, instead of the other way around. And honestly, isn’t that what punk has always been about; letting the world know that anyone can make music?

In fact, once you stop trying to analyze Vivian Girls, the record starts showing its fun side. The sound is “creative” although definitely not original, carrying a vibe at times that’s reminiscent of some old, old songs like “Dance this Mess Around” or “Planet Claire” by The B52’s. Lyrically though, it’s hard to even say. The Vivian Girls were definitely going for a more hypnotic sound this time around; which definitely gets your attention, but at the same time doesn’t share any qualities that specifically stand out either.

Of course, the problem could very well lie in its production. Vivian Girls seems sloppy because all the songs blend together after awhile and often stop too soon, and just when they are getting good. The single “Tell the World” is definitely the album’s more solid track, closely followed by the pretty hum of “Where Do You Run.” However, the majority of the record is summed up by its use of repetitive and frantic cymbal-clashing with washy guitar and whiny vocals. And with luke-warm songs like “Wild Eyes” and “All the Time” spanning the majority of the record’s time, it just gets a little boring.

Vivian Girls is not something for everyone and might not even be worth checking out. After all, the record only works solidly if you’re in the right mood for it, which really isn’t enough sometimes. However, this record is just the beginning of something that could turn out to be really great. We know the Vivian Girls are a new hot band right now, but if they manage to work a little harder in the studio next time around, I think they could really have something here. We’ll just have to wait and see.