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Vivian Girls

Vivian GirlsAudio CD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2008 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2008 --  
Vinyl, 2008 $14.56  

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Deriving their name from the ill-fated characters featured in the work of writer/illustrator Henry Darger, the Vivian Girls (not to be confused with the "craft pop" duo of the same name) are a Brooklyn-based trio whose gritty, lo-fi tunes nod to seminal indie pop acts like Black Tambourine, Talulah Gosh, and Tiger Trap. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Cassie Ramone, bassist Kickball ... Read more in Amazon's Vivian Girls Store

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for 3 albums, 6 photos, videos, and 1 full streaming song.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: In the Red Records
  • ASIN: B001CQP48E
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,963 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. All the Time
2. Such a Joke
3. Wild Eyes
4. Going Insane
5. Tell the World
6. Where Do You Run To
7. Damaged
8. No
9. Never See Me Again
10. I Believe in Nothing

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As recounted in songs by Comet Gain and Walker Kong, the "Vivian Girls" are the seven sisters who feature in Henry Darger's posthumously published fantasy epic, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. Tribute has also been paid by everyone from poet John Ashberry to Sufjan Stevens, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Camper Van Beethoven, Fucked Up, the Residents' Snakefinger, and ex-Maniac Natalie Merchant-and now by Brooklyn noise-pop band the Vivian Girls.

Brooklyn band, the Vivian Girls' first record runs Shangri-Las-style pop through a post-punk wringer. Note, for instance, the Public Image Limited intro to "Such a Joke" or the Pixies reference in "No" (entire lyric: "No"). Throughout, superfuzz guitar, subterranean bass, and Moe Tucker beats buoy heavenly harmonies and guest Tim Fiore's unstoppable tambourine. Once the pounding "Tell the World" and spooky-jangly "Where Do You Run To" take up residence in your head, they won't leave anytime soon. You've been warned. Taking their name from the blonde warriors created by the outsider author Henry Darger, the Vivian Girls mix the soft with the hard, the sweet with the sour: it’s the aural equivalent of candy, or Psychocandy. If they aren't the only outfit to perfect this tricky concoction--see the Shop Assistants or the Aislers Set--the Vivian Girls have, in a matter of months, become standard bearers. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lost K Records album from 1991? December 11, 2008
Format:Audio CD
At times, while listening to the debut album by Vivian Girls, you can't help but think you're listening to some long-lost album by an obscure noise-pop band on Olympia's K Records label from 1991 or so. Their sound (feedback-laced jangly guitars, driving rhythms, and sing-songy girl group harmonies) bears more than a striking resemblance to bands like Heavenly, Talulah Gosh, and even some of the Riot Grrl bands. The clarification comes though, in the songwriting-many of the songs blend in together, with melodies getting lost in the mix. Taken individually, there are certainly many rockin' tunes (All the Time, Tell the World, and No are the standouts), but overall they start to blur. If I was 19 again-I'd probably be insane over discovering this band for myself.
If you enjoy the DIY sounds of K Records bands like Beat Happening and Heavenly, the noisy guitars of the Jesus and Mary Chain or Velocity Girl, or the harmonic sounds of The Raveonettes or The Ronettes-you will surely enjoy Vivian Girls. They have captured a glorious ramshackle sound of the past-now all they have to do is craft some more memorable songs. I'll certainly be listening to hear what they come up with in the future.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe the low ratings here April 25, 2009
Format:Audio CD
I lived through the K records heyday and the paisley underground and nothing from those scenes rocked my world like this. This is an excellent little album far more deserving than the lack of love shown here. Thankfully Pitchfork showed it the love it deserved, placing it in the top 10 albums of 2008.

Mixing elements of punk, surf, shoegaze these girls are at the head of the pack in the new noise pop movement. Along with Wavves they are one of the few bands giving indie rock the kick in the arse it needs. This album blasts away the staleness of all those synth pop bands going at the moment and rocks it oldskool. You cannot love indie rock or punk and not love this album, it is a near perfect debut proving that often times the best music comes in the most unassuming packages.

Can't wait for album number two.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Addictive, Unpretentious Fun Rock and Pop October 11, 2008
Format:Audio CD
The debut album from Brooklyn based band Vivian Girls is short, but sweet, ten tracks in just over 21 minutes. Their sound borrows from 60's girl groups, shoegaze, punk, bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and Social Distortion, and with some seriously good musicianship and uncommonly confident vision for a new band, they manage to turn their obvious influences into music that's highly addictive and unpretentious fun. There's almost nothing else to say, except I think that you'll know from the first few moments of the album what you're in for, and whether or not you'll want to stick around for the rest. For my part, this is right down my alley, as it offers up the uncomplicated pleasures of pop and rock and roll, well played. Standout cuts: "All The Time," "Wild Eyes," "Where Do You Run To" and "Damaged."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One hell of an album June 16, 2011
Format:Audio CD
One day I was watching New York Noise, a show that highlights bands in the area, and all of a sudden this freaky music video with 3 girls comes on and I was completely blown away. Wanting to listen to more NY bands, I eventually bought the album, and overtime it grew and grew until it become one of my favorites. This album showed me that Punk doesn't have to be abrasive/egotistical, but could also be weirdly soothing and melodic, despite the low fi sound. I owned a Ramones album before I bought this and initially thought it was repetitive crap. This album really changed the way I looked at punk and got me into the CBGB's scene (Blondie/Ramones/etc), It got me into 1960 girl bands (The Ronettes, Crystals, etc), got me into Surf rock (Beach Boys), made me love SHORT albums and short songs(this one's only 21 mins long. Before that I was a long album extremist), and even helped me accept and get into many great modern indie bands (Best Coast/La Sera/Coasting/Frankie Rose and the Outs/etc). Before that I practically refused to listen to anything past the 90's. This is one hell of an influential album on me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Music Still Exists! February 6, 2013
Format:MP3 Music
The state of music today, at least on any mainstream, popular level, is quite pathetic. Radio is flooded by the likes of Lady Gaga, Kesha, Katy Perry, and similar pop icons who, in my opinion, are more about image than musicianship. While much of their music is catchy, it is overly simplified, and the lyrical content is dumbed down to the lowest denominator. Were we not to scratch the surface, it would seem that good music has ceased to exist. This is quite untrue.

The Vivian Girls debut is an excellent combination of melodic punk, indie, and pop. While much of the album follows a typical punk pattern, songs such as 'Tell the World' and 'Where Do You Run To' sound something different from typical punk, sounding at times forlorn, and yet quite beautiful, especially in the case of 'Where Do You Run To'. The bass line and the combined vocals of Cassie and Katy compliment each other so well, and Cassie's guitar solo just brings the song to a whole new level. 'Damaged', at least to me, has a very surf-pop/punk sunny feel to it that plays so well against the backdrop of Malibu or anywhere south of Santa Barbara on the Pacific Highway. I realize I've only reviewed three songs in any detail, but the whole album is, to me, amazing, and worth a listen to anybody who likes independent rock and/or punk rock. Perhaps one of the nice things that sets the Vivian Girls apart from other groups today is that, while still a punk band, there music cannot be easily defined. While much of punk today sounds like a carbon copy of the next band, the Vivian Girls have a unique sound that both Katy and Cassie have carried over to their side projects, the Babies and La Sera. Both of these bands are excellent as well, and deserve a listen.

As I said in the beginning, great music still exists. It is just not in the mainstream. True musicianship exists on the underground. The Vivian Girls are proof of this. And their debut is an amazing album.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously?
Take some really horrible guitar tones, pedestrian singing and childish song writing and you've got a band that has toured the world and has over 2 million myspace views. Read more
Published on October 13, 2010 by Chicago Chuck
4.0 out of 5 stars "a punk album with harmonizing angels"
The title of this review was a quote from the Vivian Girls regarding their sound. The Vivian Girls are named after key characters in Henry Darger's illustrated fantasy epic novel,... Read more
Published on April 29, 2010 by Robert Gruber
3.0 out of 5 stars Vivian Girls
I bought this as a gift and have not heard how it was received. I was pleased with the shipping & delivery.
Published on October 12, 2009 by Barbara Resneder
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior music. The Vivian Girls are what you need!
The Vivian Girls take the girl group sound of the 60s, surf, punk, noise and their own original sound to create music that is exciting, fun, intelligent and, most of all,... Read more
Published on August 31, 2009 by Michelle Kolkey
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivian Girls
I liked the second half of this album much better than the first. I have a weakness for "girl groups", and the Vivian Girls have a quirky quality that I can't quite define.
Published on May 9, 2009 by Christopher E. Miller
2.0 out of 5 stars Why bother?
Why would you bother listening to this band? They sound like a homework assignment: "Please record an album in the style of C86 and early 1990s alternative pop. Read more
Published on January 6, 2009 by jhn
2.0 out of 5 stars Well-intentioned, but unexceptional
The Vivian Girls draw on the finest references from the Age d'Or of alternative music. We can almost see Kendra Smith's face staring down from a poster hung in their studio. Read more
Published on November 8, 2008 by Arnold Magnet
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