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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]