Vivian Girls - Everything Goes Wrong

Pots and pans drumming and scuzzy surf guitars fuzz along merrily with a loveable disregard for their scruffy presentation.

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Released 21 Sep 2009 | In The Red | By Anna Dobbie | Rating: 3-5
Vivian Girls - Everything Goes Wrong

I like to think that my reviews are educational, so let's start with an interesting fact nugget that might prove useful in the obscure indie rock round at your local pub quiz. The Brooklyn three-piece, contrary to my assumption of being Young Ones fans, take their name from a posthumously discovered, mammoth written work by Henry Darger called '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'. I would let you know what it's about, but it's 15,145 pages long (that's 15 volumes and three accompanying volumes of illustrations) and took six generations to write so I haven't quite finished reading it yet.

With new drummer Ali Koehler stepping into Frankie Rose's shoes, Vivian Girls' second album follows the same raucous path as their self titled debut, albeit extending the average song length slightly over the rock-and-roll sixty second standard. Cassie Ramone's lead vocals are distinctive from the plethora of frontwomen with a similar NYC twang, being unusually nasal, like the sufferer from persistent bogey-blocked nostrils. However, I'm sure this isn't true and that she blows her nose regularly as she's rather lovely (Miss Ramone's a model for uber-hip SAFE clothes, doncha know?). Pots and pans drumming and scuzzy surf guitars fuzz along merrily with a loveable disregard for their scruffy presentation, while surprisingly melodic harmonies perch delicately on top of the mix adding a unexpected whiff of 60s doo-wop to numbers such as 'Can't Get Over You'. Surprisingly for three ball-breakingly feisty females, many of the lyrics detail severed heart strings and unrequited lust, which helps tone down the punk audio-bile and add a drop of grungey fragility, therefore making the songs more relatable.

A definite grower of an album, there's something reassuringly familiar about Vivian Girls. Although they're never going to set the world alight with experimental creativity, 'Everything Goes Wrong' gives you a warm glow, which is just the thing to soundtrack the chilly autumn evenings.