Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. By the time the track 'Where Do You Run To'--and its echoing impersonation of Joy Division's 'A Means To An End'--shambles by, Vivian Girls morphs from a work of nosebleed pop into something icy and numbing.
  2. Somehow, the 21 minutes spent with Vivian Girls are innocent and punctuated by brief moments of euphoria that make this debut more than worthwhile.
  3. They reproduce, even with simple materials and simple words, complex emotions and ideas. And at the same time, they just make you want to sing, freak-out, and play beach-blanket bingo in a basement.
  4. Without risking pastiche, the band gets plenty of mileage from its sonic references.
  5. I believe in the Vivian Girls. In every gorgeous harmony that coats bitterness, in every ambition subjugated to truncated song structure and muffled production, in every bouncy beat beneath a baleful drawl somehow made of equally bouncy elements.
  6. At a time when Internet buzz can make the latest bands seem like old news, listening to Vivian Girls is still exciting even after many times through; the band do not create something new so much as something now.
  7. Even with a sprawling lineage that weaves The Wipers in with the output of labels like Slumberland and K, the Vivian Girls’ vintage aesthetic is employed here not as a crutch, but a compelling battle-cry for the disappearing art of rock ‘n' roll pith.
  8. 80
    Like their English ancestors, the Girls deal almost exclusively in exuberance and wonderment, making found squalls and rattles sound like their own. But that might have more to do with the copious amounts of reverb echoing through the album’s best songs.
  9. Vivian Girls appear more than two decades after most of their influences did--and cultural context alone make this proudly understated debut a welcome addition to the balkanized milieu of contemporary pop. [Fall 2008, p.78]
  10. 70
    The recording quality on their debut album is admirably scuzzy; the drums sound like somebody’s banging a cereal box on the floor, which is part of the immediate charm.
  11. The sound of three people ripping through hooky tunes without regard for pleasantries and taste is one of the joys of rock & roll, and Vivian Girls do satisfy on that account.
  12. It is a well-written, solid debut that should at least establish the band a fanbase and give them time to work out some of the imperfections.
  13. Though far from perfect, they flit by in an instant, all washes of trebly guitars and nervous vocals that leave enough heartwarming traces to warrant subsequent returns.
  14. Though derivative of countless bands, Vivian Girls succeed in paring hazy nostalgia with big noise. It's simple and sounds good.
  15. Working at breakneck speed, Vivian Girls is sloggy, hampered by the cloying feeling that the lo-fi shtick is simply too on-the-nose.

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