In April, Vivian Girls will release their third full-length (and Polyvinyl debut) Share the Joy.
"There's almost no gray area when it comes to Vivian Girls-- people either love or hate this band. For all of us who fell for their 2008 debut, there were just as many others who cried foul. Boy, did they cry. "The singing is flat!" "I heard this in the 80s when it was better!" And, of course, that most classic of put-downs: "They can't even play their instruments!" Such criticisms miss the point. We are talking about punk music, after all, and since when did studied musicianship become a prerequisite there? ... So let's focus on the important stuff: Is this band doing something interesting? Do their songs sound good? ... Everything Goes Wrong almost feels more like a third record than a second. There are no dramatic missteps, no weird forays into krautrock, just a batch of mostly solid rock cuts. But there are notable differences between this album and its predecessor. Part of what made Vivian Girls so appealing (and ultimately divisive) was its synthesis of influences-- Spector pop, the C86 stuff, shoegaze, it was all in there. But the band was always quick to shrug off those inspirations ("I actually don't like shoegaze at all", drummer Ali Koehler once told me in an interview), and there is markedly less pop-canon pastiche this time around. If they're drawing on any particular genre now it's the thrashy hardcore they grew up on; the sound here is decidedly more aggressive (or at least faster) than before. Ramped-up rpms on "I Have No Fun" and "The Desert" are welcome, and standout "Survival" finds a sweet spot by combining it with sugary melodic verses." --Pitchfork