Times New Viking - Stay Awake EP

Ohio natives serve their rock most raw
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Rambunctious to new standards of blessed impenetrability, Ohio trio Times New Viking’s simple-on-paper M.O. is to take the sweetest of super-sweet pop music, indiefied though it is, and strip it of its outer layers of glitz and gloss. The result is music that crackles and fuzzes, screams and roars; it’s an X-Factor audition in a spin-dryer, potential sing-alongs rendered riotously raw through purposeful deconstruction.

The five-track ‘Stay Awake’ EP, featuring no song by that name, works as something of a companion piece to this year’s Matador-released LP, ‘Rip It Off’. Adored by discerning critics though it was, TNV’s latest split its en-masse audience dead centre: but that’s what makes them such a thrilling proposition, their complete ignorance of what is and isn’t commercially acceptable or viable in a market sense. They’re not here to turn tides, to cross over, to adhere to stereotypes. They exist only to rock, harder than their forefathers and louder than all who come after them.

Definite pop sensibilities are evident beneath the fug of over-amped guitars and heavily-FXed keys: the one-minute blast of ‘Hate Hate Hate’, if slowed a fraction and afforded a little clarity, would pass for a Ramones-style bopper, and opener ‘Call & Respond’ comes on like a forgotten Sleater-Kinney classic buried beneath an ocean of noise. Vocalist Beth Murphy’s candied tones cut through the bluster, giving what to some is little more than a slab of distortion true depth and texture… if you listen hard enough for it.

While never likely to convert established haters, ‘Stay Awake’ is a must-have for ‘Rip It Off’ fans left wanting more. Because that’s precisely what TNV have to offer: more, more, MORE. See and hear for yourself when they tour the UK in October alongside Los Campesinos! and No Age – click HERE for tickets.

Look out for a Track of the Day featuring Times New Viking next week!

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