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Posted on June 16th, 2011 (12:00 pm) by Molly O Brien

Something pretty special happens when you hit play on “It’s a Culture”, the first song on Dancer Equired: behind the fuzz guitars and boy-girl vocals, there’s a faint warm hiss, the kind you’d usually hear on mix tapes back in the day. That’s because Times New Viking’s album was in fact recorded on cassette tape. Retro!

On their fourth release, the Columbus, Ohio-based band (guitarist Jared Phillips, keyboardist Beth Murphy and drummer Adam Elliot) has a lo-fi, early ‘90s Pavement-‘n’-Guided-by-Voices aesthetic that practically begs for analog recording; listening to the album start to finish mimics the monolithic rush of bumping mix tapes on the car stereo. Songs on Dancer Equired are sweet, mid-tempo, hazy and sluggish. “Ways to Go” mixes heavier low-end guitar crunch with twee organs; “Fuck Her Tears” is a miniature punk song with riot grrl vocals from Murphy.

The worst thing to be said about the album is that the tracks are all variations on a single theme, guitars blurring into guitars and two-minute songs becoming indistinguishable from each other. But the gems – the casually epic “Downtown Easter Bloc”, for example – and the general singsong-y flow make the listening experience all pleasure and no pain. For those looking for some lazy summer tunes to play in the car as you make wavy hand motions out the window, Dancer Equired could definitely be your jam.

Track list:

1. It’s a Culture
2. Ever Falling in Love
3. No Room to Live
4. Try Harder
5. California Roll
6. Ways to Go
7. New Vertical Dwellings
8. Downtown Easter Bloc
9. More Rumors
10. Don’t Go to Liverpool
11. Fuck Her Tears
12. Want to Exist
13. Somebody’s Slave
14. No Good

Times New Viking: Dancer Equired
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

71 / 100
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