Day 19: Times New Viking – Rip it Off

19 Mar

End of all Things

I’ve been trying to get into noise rock and its variations for a while now.  People swear by bands like Lightning Bolt and No Age, so I figured the genre was worth my attention.  You have to be angry in order to enjoy noise rock, and apparently, I’m just not angry enough.  This is a genre characterized by loud, distorted guitars, muffled vocals, and a fog of angst clouding the music.

I’ll be adding Times New Viking to my list of failed attempts at liking noise rock.  I just can’t do it.  While listening to Rip it Off, which is supposed to be Times New Viking’s best album, every song seemed to blend together, and not in a good way.  I was more bored than anything, honestly.  It’s pretty much a wall of distortion and fuzz from beginning to end, and I don’t understand the appeal.  I guess it’s just a personal preference.  Some music listeners like a clean, crisp sound, and others prefer that sound that comes out of your radio when you’re not quite on the station.

I think my big problem with this album is the vocals.  For almost the entire album, the singers sound like you’re hearing them through a cell phone that’s been through the wash a couple of times.  This is really annoying, because it makes the lyrics all but impossible to understand.  There were a few songs that showed promise, starting out with an interesting guitar hook, but as soon as those vocals kick in, the songs just became chores to listen to, abrasive, obnoxious chores.

There is one bright moment on Rip it Off.  Unfortunately, it only lasts about thirty seconds.  As End of All Things is winding down, suddenly, the distortion on what had been just another harsh, unpleasant track cuts out.  The singer can be understood. The guitars can be heard and interpreted.  It really is kind of nice. Sure enough, however, the fuzz is back right away for the next song.

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One Response to “Day 19: Times New Viking – Rip it Off”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Day 26: Abe Vigoda – Skeleton « Swole Ear - March 26, 2011

    […] surf-pop throughout Skeleton, but there’s also that obnoxious distortion and static that I’m not a big fan of.  I’ve managed to move past it with Abe Vigoda, though.  They don’t let noise take over […]

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