Saturday, June 20, 2009

Too sad to surf

Artist: Vivian Girls
Title: Surf's Up EP
Label: Wild World
Release date: December 2008

This EP, which shipped around Christmas time last year, suits the summer, as the Vivian Girls go from wowing fans with Beach Boys-like harmonies to covering a Brian Wilson and Mike Love-penned b-side.

The first track, "Surfin' Away," has a deceptively upbeat title, as it is a slow, sad tune. Cassie Ramone pulls off some expert guitar weeping, which accentuates the song's apathetic theme. Why so many people insist that these girls cannot play their instruments well is beyond me.

"Second Date" sounds like a mellow, shoegazing version of a 1960's girl group classic, though it's an original tune. It, like its fellow a-side, does not stray from the can't-miss Vivian Girls formula of solid lyrics and beautiful harmonies.

Speaking of beautiful harmonies, it would be safe to say The Vivian Girls grew up on The Beach Boys and have been influenced by a band that also harnessed a can't-miss formula. The original song was the b-side to "Barbara Ann" and bore some striking similarities to The Beatles' "Ticket To Ride." This song suits what the Vivian Girls do like a glove, so it comes across as if they are playing one of their own compositions instead of reworking a classic to fit their mold.

This, like everything else the Vivs have released, is highly recommended.

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