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Times New Viking

On first listen, 'Rip It Off' could be just

Times New Viking
Rip It Off
(Matador)

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On first listen, Rip It Off could be just “another batch of lo-fi indie pop songs,” said Jason Crock in Pitchforkmedia.com. Except that “every chord, every note, every yelped vocal, every grizzled and treble-tearing tone is one of sheer exuberance.” These three kids from Columbus, Ohio, thrive on do-it-yourself spirit and “get off on the privilege of just making a sound.” Times New Viking has a penchant for the early 1990s pop of Pavement and Guided by Voices, and it comes through on Rip It Off. The album whirs and rumbles like a modest basement recording. The instruments sound like “off-brand department store toys” and the speakers could, for all we know, be busted. But the thinned-out “layer of fuzz works like a security blanket,” giving listeners shelter from the squall while letting them uncover the hidden pop virtues for themselves. Under those “defiant reams of scratched-up murk,” they’ll find both despairing and exultant melodies, said Chuck Eddy in Billboard. Rip It Off checks in at just over 30 minutes, but it’s packed with catchy hooks, “drunken shout-alongs, jangling strums, and Jesus and Mary Chain guitar-gunk spurts.” Times New Viking welcomes us back to the “righteous clamor of the early ’90s,” said Joe Gross in Spin. What they’ve got with this album is a “note-perfect ode to those better days.”

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