Times New Viking – Dancer Equired

Rating: ★★★☆☆

If there is be a perfect time for Times New Viking, it’s now. With the rise of so many different jangly pop and lo-fi bands, there could not be a more suiting atmosphere for this album to be released. Already equipped with a significant fan base, this band is here to show the rest of the music world that they are at the top of their game; more defined in their noise pop sound.

Heavily distorted vocals and echo-y guitars fill the first number, “It’s A Culture,” which sort of feels a little mismatched and out of order at its beginning, but develops into a fuzzy toe tapper, with Adam Elliot and Beth Murphy sharing the muddled vocal responsibility. It’s a bit of a foggy start, only to be contrasted by the second song, “Ever Falling in Love,” where the band seems to tighten things up a bit, wrapping overlapping vocals about a steady guitar riff.

A common problem with having an album largely based on short simple songs, is that that some of those little bits become throw-aways, and leave you wondering why they were included into the mess. Songs like this, in my opinion, come on the utmost of shortest jams, such as “New Vertical Dwellings,” on which everything is out of sync. For the most part, the drums don’t match the guitar, which doesn’t match the vocals, leaving the song to sound like a bunch of elements thrown together haphazardly. At only one minute and nine seconds, a song without substance may not seem like that big of a blemish, but it just makes one question the production of this album. Even though a band’s sound is lo-fi, doesn’t mean they can skimp on the quality of music they produce.

But Times New Viking doesn’t completely fail on this album; the tartness of “Fuck Her Tears” gives a taste of the classic sound that this band exemplified on their last album, while “Somebody’s Slave” slows things down for a gravelly slow burner that keeps you hanging on to the rolling drums. Following this is the weirdly distorted and emotional “No Good,” that is a simple and odd way to end the album.

Abundant with its carefree nature and brisk songs, Dancer Equired, feels just right for the increasingly hot weather and sunshine. Despite some less than satisfactory numbers, the fun of the good ones combine to outweigh the bad, leaving you with a pretty mediocre, yet enjoyable album.


Download: Times New Viking – Ever Falling In Love [MP3]

Dancer Equired is out now via Merge Records.

New Song from Times New Viking

Now that we’ve got a solid release date, and a new label lined up for Times New Viking, it seems they’re slowly leaking everything from the new record out to the public, which we don’t mind by any means.  The new album, Dancer Equired, will come out on Merge Records on April 26th, and we’ve now got the third single from the track.  One of the great things about the new recording is that there’s a bit of clarity here, which shows both a newer approach for the band and a bit of maturity.  After seeing some of these songs live, and hearing a fresh spin on the band’s style, I’m excited for this release, and we hope you are too!


Download: Times New Viking – Ever Falling In Love [MP3]

Guided By Voices @ East Side Drive-In (9/30)

Date 9/30/10
Location East Side Drive In
Doors 6pm
Tickets $25 @ Frontgate

So some band called Guided by Voices is playing at the East Side Drive-In(Fader fort from SXSW) on Thursday evening in Austin.  I hear that they are pretty decent or something so I suggest you check it out if you have the time.  Sweet indie/l0-fi band Times New Viking will also be on hand providing the opening support.  In all seriousness folks, the show seems to have some tickets still available and they are relatively cheap for such a big band.  I’d recommend getting to the venue early if you want a good spot.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/08-echos-myron.mp3]

Top Ten Fun Fest Artists

FFFFest2009_Top10We hope all of you stayed dry on Sunday at the Fun Fun Fun Festival and we also hope you soaked in the great weather of Saturday. All in all we had a great time over the weekend and saw tons of great bands.  Just as we did with ACL, we’d like to give you a brief recap with our top 10 favorite bands from the weekend festivities. We’re putting these in no real order and just listing them with some brief reasons why we liked them so much. Follow the jump for our top 10 Fun Fest bands.

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FT5: 2009 FFF Fest Highlights (From the Future!)

1106top5coverWe all have friends on Twitter, right? Sure you do! Well, one of my Twitter friends, Burton Parker (@welvis), on occasion, tweets from the future. Most of the time it’s fairly asinine, but there are some genuine moments of hilarity. So for this week’s Friday Top Five I decided to jock Burton’s style and recall some of my favorite moments from 2009’s Fun Fun Fun Fest…from the future!
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New Music From Times New Viking

tnvMasters of the low-fi movement, Times New Viking, have a new single that has been tearing up the online world recently. This new single “No Time, No Hope” will appear on the band’s upcoming album Born Again Revisited due out Sep. 22nd on Matador Records.  What’s your take on the new material?

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/times-new-viking-no-time-no-hope.mp3]

Download: Times New Viking – No Time, No Hope [MP3]

Chaos in Tejas

chaosThe great thing about Austin is that we get the benefit of having our local promoters put together amazing weeks of shows, and this week, Chaos in Tejas proves just that point.  Sure, the bands might be a little bit on the harder/faster/heavier side of things, but there are some great bands; just check out these names: Ted Leo, The Thermals, Harvey Milk, Propaghandi, Strange Boys, Times New Viking, The Business and The Shaky Hands.  All bands that deserve your time and attention…not to mention the other great bands that will grace the stage along the whole Red River district.  A detailed list of shows and venues can be found here.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/03-under-the-hedge.mp3]

Download: Ted Leo – Under the Hedge [MP3]

Wavves – Wavvves

wavesRating: ★★½☆☆

It has been a productive year for Nathan Williams of the beach punk band Wavves. He released his first self titled album, a cassette, two 7”s, and now his second LP entitled Wavvves. Whew… but, ferrrrrrrrrrrt. You can’t help but give him credit for being prolific and releasing everything he creates without a filter, but herein lies the problem of not having a solid, well crafted album from beginning to end. His lo-fi approach reminds me of Times New Viking’s recording style in that they are lo-fi for the sake of being lo-fi. They have enough money and resources to record albums properly, but they’re too effing cheap to cough up the dough. It’s either that or they think they’ll get credibility for sounding raw, edgy, and punk as fuck but really, they just sound like total shiite on record. I really don’t understand why someone would want to record an album where a listener can’t even make out the lyrics? Everything is hitting red on the dials while recording which makes it clouded in white noise and fuzz to the point where it all breaks up. This minimal recording method can be thrown to the waste-side, but the album does have some shining moments when the album’s few strong songs break through Williams’ pot-fueled instrumental experiments.

“So Bored” is an instant ear grabber that breaks the trance of “More Fur,” a song in which Williams is setting the course for the Enterprise to deep space and does little more than use delay and an arpeggiator. “So Bored” brings things back to earth by starting off with a driving drumbeat that gets one of the raddest and dirtiest guitar intros I’ve heard in awhile. That’s right mofos, I just said rad. The vocals soon follow and the song is a beautiful dirty mess which showcases his melodic sensibilities instrumentally and vocally. (Note: try and figure out which 80’s song he copies with his closing guitar line. First one to do so gets free drinks on me the whole show when they play here in Austin for SXSW). “No Hope Kids” is another rocker that talks about, well…I don’t know because you can’t understand what in the hell he is saying since the recording sucks so bad. But the chorus is…(drum roll) “Nooooo-hooooope-kiiiiiiiiiiiiidsssss!” “Surf Goth” is another honorable mention just based on the weirdness of the singing alone. It sounds as if Williams invited Gene and Dean Ween over and began knocking a few rounds back and taking whip-its together.

It is tough to say whether Williams’ output is something to admire or if it needs to be controlled. I like the fact that he is willing to put everything out there for everyone. The problem for me is that his ideas seem a little fragmented at times. The space voyages that he goes on are tiring and trying of one’s nerves. Alot of artists will use noises to add to a song for texture later. Some of these ideas can be used, some thrown away. Sometimes the artist will release the songs that aren’t quite as strong on b-sides or reissues in the future. Williams needs to critique himself a little bit more to make an album that is more defined. Shave off the fat, get rid of the noises and the songs that aren’t as good and be patient for at least another 6 months to a year. Then he’ll hopefully have from beginning to end, a slew of well-rounded, more thought out songs.

We will definitely get to see step by step, note for note, the progression or digression of this 22 year old. Will he wait a little bit longer on his next release and fine tune these thoughts? I am curious to see which way Williams is going to go because there are good moments on Wavvves where you can see the hints of potential. I just need to be able to hear what he is saying.


Download: Wavves – So Bored [MP3]

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