As a live band, Vivian Girls has some work ahead of it. All of the things that make their records so fun to listen to—the ramshackle melodies; the guitars that repeat until they become a swirl of late-night garage angst; Cassie Ramone's endless, direct lyrics about breaking up or getting over it—are pressed into a mushy block. You'd think it would be the other way around—uncomplicated music equaling simple sound live—but at this point, that's neither here nor there. They'll figure it out or they won't. In the meantime, we have their upcoming LP, Everything Goes Wrong (In the Red, September), an album of—surprise!—breakup songs with a killer second half and a pretty decent first half. "When I'm Gone" is the first single. You'll listen to it 100 times without realizing it.
July 14, 2009