It’s safe to say the Vivian Girls were the most buzzed about band of last year with their debut getting mountains of praise from blogs everywhere. So now that there sophomore album has arrived, the blogs are doing what they do best; writing the album as just being more of the same and tearing down the band they helped build. This is a shame, because if anyone actually listened to it, they would find one of the better albums of the year.
Everything Goes Wrong opens with “Walking Alone at Night” “I Have no Fun” a quick one-two punch of everything that was loved from the first Vivian Girls Album. Two bratty, fuzzy, punk songs played over a mountain of distortion. Then things start to change. “Tension” is actually slowed down with effect infused drums and guitarsand loads of reverb. Then there’s the center track “When I’m Gone” which dissolves into Velvet Underground style noise and into the 4 minute range. The band does stretch out their sound on this album than just rehashing the quick two minute tracks from their self titled album.
The album is also darker than their last effort. Heartbreak and pain fill Cassie Ramones Lyrics, when you can make them out. The distortion feels thicker, less playful than last time. Then there is the album closer “Before I Start to Cry” which lays Cassie’s heart bare on a platter. But not everything is completely changed. Tracks like “I’m not Asleep” and “Can’t Get Over You” are still the 60’s girl band infused punk songs that made us fall in love with the band in the first place.
What could have easily been just a rehash of their debut or the band becoming to experiment for their own good, Everything Goes Wrong manages to find the right balance of new and old and it emerges as a pretty good follow up of their debut. Now if only other people would listen to it.Vivian Girls-When I'm Gone