Dusted Reviews

Times New Viking - Present the Paisely Reich

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Times New Viking

Album: Present the Paisely Reich

Label: Siltbreeze

Review date: Apr. 9, 2007

Siltbreeze Records founder Tom Lax has claimed that he revived his dormant label specifically to put the stupidly named, prankishly inept Ohio punk group Times New Viking on wax. Lax has seldom communicated clearly about anything - Siltbreeze has always approached publicity with the same half-assed glee that its roster approaches rock - but the myth fits. As dark and cathartic as the best nihilistic fuzz-rock and as shrill and blasphemous as the cheekiest Top 40 annoyance, TNV plays all corners of the storied Siltbreeze racket, with a new infusion of kid energy. “Indie rock” may not be worth an RSS feed anymore, but you can still get your anti-chops, neurotic conflict and effortless majesty right here.

It’s hard to goof off like this without falling into certain patterns. Like the best of its cassette-swapping ‘80s and ‘90s forebears, the Viking can be a bit too beholden to the Please Kill Me shit-disturbing establishment. The opening track here, an indolent “Holidays In the Sun” rip called “Imagine Dead John Lennon” (Kill the dead hippies! Some more!), flaunts its debts straight away. Alternately horny, arrogant and self-lacerating, and always content to include what they mean, the shout-along lyrics are straight from the Richard Hell school (if seldom as unintentionally funny). What’s great about TNV is it plays these clichés so loosely and impatiently that, without compromising its hooks, it often stumbles into its own muggy aesthetic.

On balance, Present the Paisley Reich, our plucky band’s second full-length (claiming a whopping half-hour or your evening), is best when it draws on its own resources (a brazen abandon and a tunefulness unhindered by classicism) and fucks with guitar-pop in its own intuitive mode. Guitarist Jared Phillips often navigates, drawing his own slapdash, troglodytic caricature of power-pop without directly copping punk’s chugga-chugga dynamic. Adam Elliot and Beth Murphy split the vocals, their pinched, frantic yelps differing just slightly enough to create some nuance, never neutralizing the POV. Elliot’s drums sound like a hailstorm ripping through a parade float. Murphy’s organ buffers the clatter with its simple proto-psych swells.

More than any sort of complete statement, Present the Paisley Reich is, as it should be, a batch of tremendous tunes. The restless, self-pitying “Teenagelust!” is the no-duh single, but the dizzy, jubilant “New Times, New Hope,” the fussy kiss-off “Devo + Wine” and the sultry, ominous one-two “Let Your Hair Grow Long” and “Hiding In Machines” are weirder, shabbier and more enduring. And with its sloppy dignity always in play beneath its less inspired numbers, even the filler is killer.

Whatever new ideas it may get in the future, Times New Viking has established a penchant for making a fine mess of things. And that's never not necessary.

By Emerson Dameron

Other Reviews of Times New Viking

Dig Yourself

Rip it Off

Born Again Revisited

Dancer Equired

Read More

View all articles by Emerson Dameron

Find out more about Siltbreeze

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.