If Times New Viking played all its songs twice, it just might crack the hour and a half mark. Photos and text by Julio Enriquez.
Like a glass of raw eggs downed by Rocky Balboa before his morning workout, Times New Viking hit the Larimer Lounge on Friday with a brash, raw energy, the Columbus, Ohio lo-fi band fueling a crowd already hopped up on High Life.
The band plowed through its entire catalog in roughly an hour, but in that hour it felt like they played nearly 30-odd songs. The two-minute Ramones-esque duration of each track is what makes them so successful, bucking the industry standard three-minute radio song, and giving them the ultimate “f**k you” of having several songs on an album below the two-minute mark.
After experiencing TNV’s live show (for the second time) I’m not sure if I could even label the music “punk.” Bits and pieces of the Velvet Underground are spackled everywhere alongside early Sonic Youth (especially in the playing of Jared Phillips, looking so effortlessly cool with his menacing guitar).
The lo-fi quality of the recorded material was rendered well throughout the evening, particularly during the harmonizing of rough vocals from keyboardist Beth Murphy and drummer Adam Elliott. “Drop Out” took on a different life , partly due to drummer Adam Elliott banging on his drums in a fashion that would have made Animal from the Muppets proud.
By the second half of the show my ears had split (although in a good way. Thank God I brought earplugs). I felt it during the one-minute thunderbolt “Rip Allegory.” The testosterone-filled crowd started blowing off steam and creating a faux mosh pit in front of the stage by jumping, running, and slamming into any and everybody in sight.
The scene made me feel like that old Disney cartoon with Ferdinand the Bull. (If you don’t remember, Ferdinand was the quasi-pansy bull that just wanted to graze and sit under his favorite tree and smell the flowers with the other cows, while the other young bulls bunted each other — much like the crowd at the Larimer.)
MTV recently wrote a blurb about punk rock’s DIY aesthetic and the influence of current lo-fi recording. Groups cited in the article include Times New Viking and their cronies from Ohio area. One of the groups interviewed is quoted as saying, “You can buy our sound at Guitar Center.” I guess we all could buy our equipment at Guitar Center and start a band, but would it sound as good as Times New Viking?
Regular Reverb contributor Julio Enriquez edits the Cause=Time blog.