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Vivian Girls

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Audio CD, September 30, 2008
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$14.27 $1.26

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

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. All The Time 1:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Such A Joke 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Wild Eyes 1:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Going Insane 1:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Tell The World 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Where Do You Run To 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Damaged 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. No 1:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Never See Me Again 1:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. I Believe In Nothing 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 

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: #199,201 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By RockerDad on 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 By Jason Bunch on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BloodyRose3000 on 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 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 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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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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