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