[sic] Magazine

Times New Viking – Born Again Revisited

It started in 2008. Obsessives and purists may argue that it started a year earlier, or moreover that the sound is a simple rehashing of 80s and 90s lo-fi as perfected by revered acts such as Pavement and The Clean. Whatever, noise has been big news in recent times, and along with No Age, Times New Viking ruled the roost in 2008 with their third album Rip It Off. Its mid-tempo home recordings threw in-the-red-level treble over garage pop-punk and buried the lot in tinnitus-inducing and discordant feedback.

Born Again Revisited conceded DIY defeat and was born in a studio, not that you’d know it. For, as other reviewers have noted, Born Again Revisited is pretty low on Born Again, and very high on Revisited. Melodies remain strong but wholly veiled. Their garage doesn’t rock so much as jangle and pulse. The levels are perhaps a touch cleaner and the rhythms perhaps catchier, but Times New Viking have nevertheless not compromised their position as noise frontrunners.

As Rip It Off was exciting, so is the latest offering. The dynamic single “No Time, No Hope” houses familiar organ, 60s pop and Beth Murphy and Adam Elliott’s static-filled vocals. The Stooges-like, droning urgency of album opener “Martin Luther King Day” sets the scene well, but as the last album was guilty of inconsistency, this one naturally follows suit.

Just like large swathes of the Wavves canon, “I Smell Bubblegum” amounts to little more than repetitive, atonal incomprehensibility and detractions such as this will very likely put the newcomer off. This said, unless the scene has lost its pivotal cool, those that dug Rip It Off ought to find equal reward here.