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TIMES NEW VIKING – Born Against Revisited (LP, Matador Records)

Posted: September 21st, 2009, by JGRAM

The sound of Times New Viking is truly fucked up.  They are out of tune and they don’t even sound as if they are playing actual instruments, more using appropriations of what instruments should sound like.  All in all this is a record that sounds as if it were made out of cupboard.

As a result of this the reality that there is a drive behind proceedings says a lot about the determination of the band and the apparent strength of their songs in the sole/soul, bloody minded desire to see things through until a hook is found.  I guess this has been what lo-fi ingenuity has always been about.

With drums that sound like they are boxes falling down stairs, the hardest hook to arrive first is the chorus refrain of the title track “Born Against Revisited” as the song descends into true dementia, a refreshing voice from the back raises her hand and lends the song a kiss.

In sounding so bad and awful there is true invention in the process.  The fact that the sound has been rendered so sharp and nasty but yet remains (just about) listenable indicates that there is no off switch on the genius button here.

Ultimately it feels as if this muck is some kind of response to the horrible slickness that no comes with the digital age, the bland anonymous cold feel of listening to music through a computer.  As we now reach the Skynet era of music and how Kraftwerk appeared to once predict songs being manufactured by robots this is in many ways as pure a statement of/in music as you can get as they purposely apply a recording technique akin to the playing technique of The Shaggs.  With its transgression this is a true blessing.

To be found are genuinely rocking joints that come in the form of the optimistic sounding “Move To California” and the Germs echoing opening “I Smell Bubblegum”.  It’s definitely not all great but certainly is fun.

This is the sound of what Guided By Voices would be like if they were hoodlum kids packing more than just guitars and sticking scissors into open electric sockets.  Any band that has a 36 second song called “Take The Piss” cannot be bad or wrong.

These songs were born to be heard on vinyl.

Thesaurus moment: scuff.

Times New Viking

Matador Records



JGRAM

JGram, friend of the stars, chartered accountant and pie enthusiast, likes nothing better than KICKING YOUR SKINNY ASS by way of a carefully-timed half-nelson followed by the CLOTHES LINE! OW! So never, never cross him. His dog Snowy is equally rockhard and will bite your lim bs off in the blink of an eye. And then paw your eyes out for blinking when he's biting you.

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