BREAKING SOUNDS: Times New Viking Rip it Off LP

posted Tuesday Jan 29th, 2008

Times New Viking from Columbus, Ohio recently released their third LP last week entitled Rip it Off. As their first effort on Matador hits the streets, the fork in TNV's road poses a question in whether a shift in their sound, cleaned up for a wider audience, might be something in the cards. Matador Records, a label that has become somewhat of a passageway between the mysterious caverns of the underground music and the accessible mainstream, could just be the vehicle needed to break through. But why? In these crucial times when innovations in home recording allow for such pristine reproductions to anyone with a home computer to reap all the glories of a crisp, clean sound, it hardly equates to much other than an unnecessary veneer, especially in the realm of underground music. What is most interesting about the culmination of nearly sixty years of recorded rock'n'roll music is that we're right back in the same sonic bag as we were in its inception, except this time the granular result (with tape hiss and distortion) is an artistic choice rather than a technological hurdle.

With the juxtaposition of their perfectly crafted pop songs, and the very un-pop recording style they employ, Times New Viking leaves us with the feeling of listening to their melodies on a hand-held radio in some underground bunker, adding yet another layer to their sound. Though fuzz as an instrument is certainly nothing new; Times New Viking do it in such a way, that it sets them far apart from the legions of bands that took notes while listening to old Velvet Underground records.

On Rip it Off, they delve further into their sound by cutting through instantly infectious pop hooks with cultish sounding harmonies, layers of riving distortion in songs like "The Wait" and "End of All Things," that leave you with a delirious, melancholy feeling that will get you ready for any personal armageddon you might have on the horizon. You can pick up Rip it Off here.