album reviews

Times New Viking
Rip It Off
Matador (2008)

Columbus, Ohio, trio Times New Viking conjures a collage of indie-rock references. The musicians channel the lo-fi recording style of Guided by Voices, they flaunt the unbridled energy of early Pavement and they rival the Minutemen in brevity. They breeze through 16 songs in 31 minutes on their third album, "Rip It Off."

Even in such short songs, "lo-fi" doesn't begin to capture the noise they generate. Every song rattles with the chaotic blur of distorted keyboards and guitar, and the request on the back of their album cover ("please play loud") certainly conveys how intentional that clamor is.

But distortion doesn't mask the songs' innate catchiness. "Mean God" and "Drop-Out" have melodies that beg for a singalong. Of course, that's nearly impossible because the lyrics are indistinguishable beneath the layers of noise. But the words hardly matter; Times New Viking's enthusiastic yelps are matched in fervor by the band's joyous racket.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 20 June 2008, Page WE08
.: Rip It Off on