Times New Viking

Rip It Off

I love to think efforts like Rip It Off send hipsters on a point-and-click frenzy, searching eBay for vintage gear. Of course, most of these buyers miss the point: Times New Viking isn’t about three individuals mucking around with antiquated equipment. It’s about crafting tunes so fragile and catchy they’d be feted on TweeNet—and then swathing them in prickly feedback, stentorian buzzing, and DIY-esque hiss. It’s like the Columbus, Ohio, natives are embarrassed over their songs having such a charming, pop spine. An addiction to white noise is how they save face. Fellow Ohioan Robert Pollard is the name evoked the most when describing Times New Viking’s brand of ramshackle pop, but the presence of vocalist/keyboardist Beth Murphy means there’s more bouncy tenderness than marked, surreal torment. Think Shop Assistants’ “What a Way to Die,” the second half of Boyracer’s “Beautiful Lines,” or Black Tambourine’s best efforts. The boy-girl discourse on “Drop-Out” (between Murphy and drummer Adam Elliot) is as cheeky as anything you’ll spin this year, while the soaring, inspiring choruses of “(My Head)” will have the hair standing up on yours.