Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love is All and the Vivian Girls

This year, the Raveonettes have awakened a serious interest in what I think of as tambourine-core. Love Is All and the Vivian Girls are finishing up a tour that offers up a couple good variations on the retro girl group with dirty guitar model.

Love Is All's 2006 album Nine Times The Same Song caught my attention with bouts of Arcade Fire's BRING IT all at once intensity in songs like "Make Out, Fall Out, Make Up." Bricolage Fantasy aptly decribed Love Is All as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs from Sweden. I hear Karen O most in "Talk Talk Talk", which also features doses of acid jazz screech just brief enough to be enjoyable. "Motorboat" has a strong tambourine-laced beat, with guitar that does indeed invoke a motor. One weak point is "Busy Doing Nothing At All", where the loud seems to be for loud's sake.

On Love Is All's new album A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night, the Karen O vocals seems to have given way to a softer, sweeter Cyndi Lauper/El Perro del Mar meets the Mighty Mighty Bosstones/Morphine. The high point is the slow but intense duet "A More Uncertain Future." On "Sea Sick", they somewhat overload xtra-funky bass with Morphine-style acid-jazz sax ("hard listening" music).

Love Is All - A More Uncertain Future (A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night, 2008)
Love Is All - Talk Talk Talk Talk (Nine Times The Same Song, 2006)
Love Is All - Ageing Had Never Been His Friend (Nine Times The Same Song, 2006)

Love is All - Make out, Fall Out, Make Up (Nine Times The Same Song, 2006)

Love Is All - Motorboat (Nine Times The Same Song, 2006)

Like Love Is All, the Vivian Girl bring retro girl-group big sound to their eponymous 2008 album. On "Tell The World", the basic solid drumline and harmonized vocals evoke the Raveonettes sound that's driving me wild lately. The strong bass opening on "Such A Joke" draws you and keeps you there. "No" is solid wall-of-sound rock. Weak spots: "Wild Eyes" (dull oldies sound) and "All The Time" (just a lotta noise).

Vivian Girls - Tell the World (Vivian Girls, 2008)
Vivian Girls - Where Do You Run To (Vivian Girls, 2008)
Vivian Girls - No (Vivian Girls, 2008)
Vivian Girls - Such A Joke (Vivian Girls, 2008)

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