On their third album (and Polyvinyl debut) Share the Joy, Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls continue to sharpen and refine their transcendent mix of garage thrash, girl-group warmth and infectious pop hooksmanship.
The ten-song Share the Joy finds the threesome—guitarist/vocalist Cassie Ramone, bassist/vocalist Kickball Katy and new drummer Fiona Campbell—continuing to evolve and expand, building on the D.I.Y. achievements of their 2008 debut, Vivian Girls, and its 2009 follow-up, Everything Goes Wrong, while delivering their most memorable songs and most focused performances yet.
Share the Joy's musical and emotional depth is reflected on "The Other Girls" and "Light In Your Eyes," each of which clocks in at over six minutes. The former tune manages to encompass hammering hardcore, Beach Boys-esque melodic bliss, Neil Young/Nirvana-inflected guitar frenzy and ethereal harmonic drone, while the latter closes the album on a triumphant note of surging sonic uplift.
Elsewhere, "Dance If You Wanna" and "Take it As It Comes" rank with the band's most intoxicating pop confections, while "Lake House" and "Vanishing of Time" maintain a thoughtful, introspective tone that may come as a surprise to those who'd had Vivian Girls pegged as a lo-fi garage outfit.
Vivian Girls recorded Share the Joy at Rear House, the home studio run by Jarvis Taveniere (of the Brooklyn combo Woods), who engineered the album.
Inch by inch, venue by venue, album by album, Vivian Girls keep getting better.
Drowned in Sound
[Vivian Girls'] latest effort comes with a sparkling new pop sensibility, a more defined narrative and a refined sound to boot.
ColorDespite the myria of bands that they've inspired, no one does it quite as well as the Vivian Girls.
Share the Joy is well worth the purchase simply for the opener and closer alone.
Vivian Girls are still cruising in top form.
1The Other Girls (6:28)
2I Heard You Say (2:52)
3Dance (If You Wanna) (2:59)
4Lake House (2:08)
5Trying to Pretend (2:30)
6Sixteen Ways (2:44)
7Take It As It Comes (3:00)
8Vanishing of Time (3:58)
10Light in Your Eyes (6:07)