Times New Viking: Dance Equired


Times New Viking
Dance Equired
(Merge Records)

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If you miss the sound of garage rock playing on a warped cassette, Times New Viking is the band for you. The formula for a track on Dance Equired is fairly simple: keep it punchy, keep it under four minutes, and keep it unpolished. The result has an admirable immediacy and unapologetic grit that sneers in the face of autotuned pop.

Songs like “Try Harder” and “Ways to Go” pack a tight sonic punch with muddied noise, while “California Roll” takes a page from surfer rock instead. Like the supremely random Guided by Voices, also hailing from Ohio, Times New Viking leave no room for filler on their songs. Once the point is made, it’s time to move on without getting flashy with technical guitar solos or complicated lyrics.

At times all the noise and lack of harmonizing between vocalists makes it difficult to really get into some of the tracks on Dance Equired, but it’s ultimately a matter of taste. If you like raw, energy-driven lo fi, then this is the record for you. If you prefer something that sounds like it’s taken more than one take, definitely try before you buy.

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