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It was just about a year ago that Vivian Girls emerged from obscurity with their blustery, self-titled debut. Vivian Girls was critically lauded and readily embraced by the blogosphere for its raw take on the sound originally pioneered by British indie-pop acts in the 1980s like The Flatmates. As with contemporaries Liechtenstein–whom we featured in May–there is undoubtedly some added appeal in the band’s all-girl lineup; it seems there is always a dearth of distortion-rocking femmes in the rock landscape, so to encounter ones making such good music is a double pleasure.
“When I’m Gone” is the eighth track on Vivian Girls’ sophomore record, slated for release September 8th on In the Red. At just under three and a half minutes, it’s a fireball of crashing drums and heavy distortion–a lot of noisy fun, if not anything we haven’t heard before. As with the songs off their debut, “When I’m Gone” is carried largely by its unbridled exuberance. It is a feeling thing, not a thinking thing, and those looking for artifice and innovation would be advised to keep moving along as there is nothing to see here. What Vivian Girls do best–with “When I’m Gone” as Exhibit A–is tap into a musical muscularity that renders their passion tangible.
I still find the claims that this band are the new Big thing dubious or at least unlikely, but Vivian Girls clearly have charm and energy to spare. Fans of the genre will get a kick out of what the band is dishing out, and at the end of the day, I don’t think Vivian Girls are really aspiring to too much beyond just that.