FINE PRINT: Times New Viking, JB’s Last Night [Photo by TIFFANY YOON]
BY SIMONE SECCI FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT I have to admit that I was suckered at this one. Fooled as many people by a fake press release, that displayed Times New Viking as a supergroup including former Pavement bass player Mark Ibold, I went to Johnny Brenda’s thinking that I would find a bunch of aged indie rockers in front of me. Instead I found this heterogeneous trio of twenty somethings from Columbus, Ohio.
But Let’s start from the beginning: First on stage Fnu Ronnies local band I believe, devoted to a punk-wave revival that automatically make you jump back to 1979. They score some points with a dark and obsessive baritone vocals (let’s say Bauhaus, Chrome) supported by a metallic and angular guitar sound, but that’s pretty much it. The band and especially the rhythmic section, often look not fully able to deal with the live act or in other words a little inexperienced. After a long (too long) waiting for the re-setting of the stage it’s time for New Jersey (they repeated where they were from a bunch of times during the show) 6 pieces combo, Titus Andronicus. The thing that immediately struck me about them was that they are actually better live than on recording! Due to a definitively energetic and extraordinary played live show, they stole the highlights of the night, from their more famous tour buddies TNV. You will rarely find a band that is able to convey the sound of 4 guitars, into a well arranged guitar ensemble rather than a wall of white noise and without losing a good punk attitude. Even without having strong singing capabilities on their side, they pulled it off well, with a good dose of synth to give the right melodic spin.
After a still too long technical joint venture to set the stage again, finally at 11.20 we are able to see Times New Viking. Frankly I have to admit a slight disappointment about their live performance. Not that their unable to be absolutely entertaining and draw the crowd where they want to but without their skittering and loud lo-fi appeal, their songs lose a bit. Maybe a more consistent attention on creating the right climax and working on the dynamics, instead of a straight ahead Ramones-like attitude will do them good. Very amazing guitar sound though takes you back to the J Mascis era 85-88, primitive energy, good vibes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Simone is from Italy, and as such English is his second language. While he doesn’t always use it the ‘right’ way, he usually gets where he wants to go. Perhaps he reminds you of the lovable Roberto Benigni in Down By Law. As a service to our English-speaking readers, we will run his reviews in larger type to simulate talking LOUD…AND…SLOWLY.