Album Review

Born Again Revisited

Born Again Revisited

by Times New Viking


Matador
7.5 / 10
24th September 2009

Reviewed by Paul Gallagher


Oh how times have changed since these Ohio natives released Rip It Off early last year - a slew of lo-fi scuzz pop artists have flooded the synapses of all who even have but a passing interest in music. From Wavves to Vivian Girls to Woods to Mika Miko to Washed Out to Best Coast to Ganglians to Ducktails to Real Estate to Grass Widow to... the list goes on and on and on. But the fact remains, despite all these artists Times New Viking have staked a claim for notoriety and prominence.

Signed to major indie label Matador you might think Times New Viking may have been told to pull their head in a little and pressured into delivering albums for their sellability rather than sticking through to what they want to do. After all, Matador of late have pushed out highly produced efforts from Cat Power, AC Newman, Julian Plenti and Cave Singers to balance the sound of Jay Reatard, Kurt Vile and of course Times New Viking. But it didn't show in Rip It Off, and it certainly doesn't show in their latest effort. It's a mic-manipulated, analog-recorded muffled aesthetic that serves to be heard exactly how these Columbus kids want it to be.

Beth Murphy, Jared Phillips and Adam Elliot are obviously a trio comfortable with what they have to offer and aren't impressionable to the extent they feel they need to change for me, you, Matador or anyone. Clocking in at just over 30-minutes it's a concise full-length 15-song follow up to the Stay Awake EP they've also released this year. The formula largely remains the same - a keys-drums-guitars mash of noise pop that leads you by the nose.

It's a hoarse post punk fuzz laden icon filled with sounds and ethics of movements past - Move To California (also released as a 7-inch) acts as an ode to Yo La Tengo, album closer Take The Piss features almost riot grrl angst from Ms Murphy. High Holidays is an ill-fated launch of song that was never meant to survive the bad tempered punk squalls that eventually envelop it. But for all the comparisons to well trodden aural paths there are signs of freshly trodden turf - No Time No Hope shows they're still lost in the fog of fuzz but along with the tapered tempo of 2/11 Don't Forget illustrates the band has a warmer, lighter side that no-one could have guessed of when Present the Paisley Reich came out on Siltbreeze in 2007.

This isn't homage pastiche that some might accuse this band of. They aren't mere throwbacks to 90s rebellion and the anti-establishment autism of that time. They're a group that can go to big shows like ATP and muck about and bum around and still come across being worthy of attention. Born Again Revisited shows they still feel free to produce what they have on offer. It's noisy and it's racket and it's raucous and damn it I like it.






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