20 Watts

Emerging Artists, Week 6: Times New Viking by 20watts
March 27, 2008, 2:29 am
Filed under: Emerging Artists | Tags: ,

The name Times New Viking may conjure up thoughts of word processing software, but the Columbus, Ohio three-piece doesn’t sound like a band to write your term paper to. That’s because their music is raucous and upbeat, appropriate for doing something more active than staring at a computer screen.

Guitarist Jared Phillips, keyboardist Beth Murphy, and drummer Adam Elliot have a talent for making lo-fi sound high quality. Murphy and Elliot share vocals that are characterized by a hollow, faraway sound more akin to a cassette recording than a slick CD. But this just makes for more interesting listening.

The track “TeenageLust!,” off the band’s 2007 album, Present the Paisley Reich begins with a haphazard wail, “I don’t want to die.” But with the addition of Murphy’s keyboards and a rocking drum beat, the song becomes decidedly pop, while remaining a little rough around the edges.

“My Head,” from their latest album, Rip It Off, has a little more structure than some of the band’s earlier stuff, but still maintains a slightly off-kilter sound. TNV tends to keep their songs short, filling them with the important stuff right from the beginning, and ending before the song strays into unnecessary repetition.

Though the band signed with Matador Records at the end of 2006, they recorded their newest release in their practice space. This absolute embrace of the DIY spirit seems to be paying off. The New York Times’ art critic Jon Pareles gave the band a positive mention in his recap of SXSW, and the always discerning music site Pitchforkmedia.com praised TNV’s newest release.

Definitely check out this band, and listen to them while doing something other than surfing the Internet.

– Christina

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