Photo by Steve Martinez

“Should I call Johnny?” asks Cassie Ramone, at the start of ‘Take It as it Comes’, a quirky call-and-response, Shirelles-style number from the Vivian Girls’ latest album, Share the Joy. Dream pop harmonies follow, with bassist Katy Goodman and drummer Fiona Campbell (successor to Ali Koehler of Best Coast) advising “You’ll never get a guy if your heart always tells you what to do”. These Brooklyn hipsters inform me that Katy only started playing bass two years ago when they formed the band, yet they now have a huge cult following and various side projects such as La Sera and The Babies. Their sound is definitely better suited to the live show, weaving Phil Spector pop starlet vocals and 60s surf-guitar lines over light and dark themes a la The Wipers and Black Tambourine.

The set highlight is ‘I Heard You Say’, which kicks off with three-part harmonies demonstrating slicker songcraft and dynamics than their previous riot grrl shambling on tracks like ‘I Have No Fun’. ‘The Other Girls’ is the new album’s opener, for all those Ghost World subcultural teenage girls, with Cassie musing “I don’t wanna lose myself”.

Away from their thriving Brooklyn scene, a full house at The Captain’s Rest seem appreciative of the tighter tracks but the girls still reflect their underground roots with a Sonic Youth-inspired breakdown to finish, cleverly leaving us wanting more.

Share the Joy is out now on Polyvinyl Records. 

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