Thursday, January 29, 2009

Top 10 Albums of 2008: 6. TIMES NEW VIKING - Rip It Off

Every time I’ve put my iPod on shuffle in the past few months, I’ve done so with an acute sense of fear that a track from Rip It Off will follow up a quiet acoustic interlude, thus shredding my ear-lobes and increasing still further my chances of being a very deaf old man. On their third studio album, the Ohian trio cover their exuberant, lo-fi punk with a blanket of treble-shredding feedback and fuzz: the result is a thrilling, adrenalised rush, characterised by scuzzy riffs and deranged hooks. Some claimed that their extreme noise aesthetic was nothing more than a calculated gimmick, but they missed the point on two counts: firstly, underneath all the frenzied squall and distortion are 24-carat tunes like ‘My Head’, ‘Faces on Fire’ and ‘The Early ‘80s’. Secondly, if a deafening wave of noise is the alternative to the horrifically compressed production that blights all too many albums these days, then that’ll do very nicely indeed, thank you very much.

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