# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Times New Viking - Rip It Off

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 8 / 6 / 2008

Times New Viking - Rip It Off
Label: Matador Records
Format: CD


Potentially promising third album of punk from Ohio-based group Times New Viking, ruined by its deliberately terrible recording

All the press clippings and press releases involved with this record talk about "Lo-Fi" and this new genre of “Shit-gaze” of which Times New Viking are the forefront pioneers. It comes as a noughties equivalent/off-shoot of the “Shoegaze” genre popularised in the early 90’s -and I must add this is a press tag, not something the band have self applied - which is mixed with a low quality recording style in order to make it sound feel raw and intense rather than watered down. Does this work? Yes…kind of. About four songs into this, however, my honest reaction was, “Okay, this might be good if I could hear it properly”. For a band on their third album I feel the emphasis has been about shit with the actual songs taking a bit of a back seat. It all comes across as the musical embodiment of that 'Nathan Barley' episode involving the latest craze by some hip new things trying to do the "New Thing". Yes, I see the point and “get it” and what it’s all about, but the truth is some of these songs are fantastic and don’t need the gimmick which seems to be being pushed as the unique selling point of this album. One quality I did, however, really enjoy, alhtough I am not sure my neighbours did, was the way in which the “producer”, mixer or is it the sound engineer has done a great job of making this album loud. It screams at you which gives you hope that this will be a really raucous punk rock record, but unfortunately all the best bits of this album seem to be lost in feedback. My problem with this ? It’s 2008. For less than the price of a night out in Camden or a half hour car journey you can buy a laptop, a day's recording in a studio, a dictaphone for God's sake, and you’d get still better quality recordings. Authenticity is what I feel it lacking here. Maybe I’m being way off the mark, but I actually feel like in this day and age you’d have to go out of your way to make something sound this bad. It works me up because I really think there are some cracking tunes on here like the almost pop-punk likes of ‘(My Head)’, ‘The Wait’, ‘Drop Out’ and ‘Mean God’, the latter which is a brilliant tune that sits beside the best post punk tunes I’ve heard. They are all quality songs. ‘Times New Viking vs. Yo La Tengo’ has a brilliant hook to it, but it sounds like it’s being broadcast from Taiwan via a tin can and string. I can’t help but think the poor quality is some sort of smoke screen or way to set the band apart from other things out there. There is a serious lack of originality in music these days, but that doesn’t mean that a band sounding a bit like someone else is a bad thing, especially if it is done well and I think Times New Viking have this potential. The truth is this got a reaction from me and that is good. I would love to see this band live to see what they sound like. The absolute truth be told ib the mean time is that I’m planning on taking a tape recorder I bought at a car boot sale last week for 39 pence, to record a few songs on it, drop it down the stairs a few times on the way to the pub and then pour my pint over it and release a recording of the results on it on the black market. It may do well.

Track Listing:-
1 Teen Drama
2 (My Head)
3 RIP Allegory
4 The Wait
5 Drop-Out
6 Come Together
7 Faces On Fire
8 Relevant: Now
9 The Early '80s
10 Mean God
11 Another Day
12 The Apt.
13 Off The Wall
14 End Of All Things
15 Times New Viking Vs. Yo La Tengo
16 Post Teen Drama

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