Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Certified Banger #3
Ok so I will admit right off the bat, I'm a little late to the whole Vivian Girls party. I don't know what it was, maybe it was the overwhelming amount of good music that has been released over the past two months or it could be the automatic backlash attached to any band coming out of Brooklyn these days, but I kept putting off a thorough listen of the Vivian Girls recently released self titled LP. I finally found the time and desire to sit down and give the album a listen and what I found was quite pleasing. The entire album consists of a set of very short and interesting songs built around a story arc about love found and lost, and the emotions that come along with the whole process. I wouldn't go as far as to call the album a concept album, that is a term that is thrown around way too often these days, but it definitely has a broader over arching theme that ties the entire album together. The album progresses from girl meets boy, girl falls in love, boy hurts girl, boy runs away, boy returns and finally girl rejects boy. This is the point in the album where we reach this week's certified banger, "I Believe In Nothing".
"I Believe In Nothing" has all of the DIY punk aesthetic including, jangling percussion, poorly played guitar riffs and repetitive bass lines, but it also contains, hidden beneath layers of reverb and poor production qualities, striking vocals and beautiful harmonies. The track plays as a sort of nihilistic anthem for the emotionally unattached. Following the story arc of the album, we can take this song as an attempt by the protagonist to shut herself out of her feelings and make herself emotionally unavailable to the entire situation, something that many of us can relate to. What makes this song so interesting to me is the entire arrangement and tone of this song. One would think that the final song, at the height of the drama which has unfolded over the entire album, would sound more angry or intense. Instead, the Vivian Girls show extreme restraint and never allow the listener the release that is expected, and most definitely yearned for. The song plays along at a mid tempo, with nearly no emotion coming from the beautifully sung anthem. These elements work together so well to create a real nihilistic drone throughout the entire 2:26 of the track that you almost start to believe that, maybe, she doesn't care. Maybe she does, maybe she doesn't, who knows. All I know is that this is one of the more enrapturing songs that I have heard in a long time.
As always, check the side bar for the track.------------------->