Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Vivian Girls sound exhausted on Share The Joy, and with good reason. When the Brooklyn trio broke out in 2008, it was grouped with other fashionable garage-rockers like Black Lips, Jay Reatard, and Blank Dogs. Vivian Girls was among the lesser groups in the scene, and as buzz around the band has faded over time, its sense of identity has all but eroded. Nevertheless, Vivian Girls solider on with an ain’t-broke-so-we’re-not-fixing it attitude on Share The Joy, and the result is mostly unexceptional. The fleeting summertime fun of “Dance (If You Wanna)” and the ominous earworm “Sixteen Ways” aside, most of Share The Joy treads well-worn territory. At least the six-minute bookend tracks “The Other Girls” and “Light In Your Eyes” take shots at epic-sized greatness, even though they confirm that Vivian Girls’ meager pleasures are best delivered in three-minute packages. A record lacking in ideas from a band inching past its sell-by date, Share The Joy reaches a nadir on “Death,” when Cassie Ramone sings, “I wanna wanna wanna wanna wanna wanna wanna stay alive.” Like a broken record, Vivian Girls appear doomed to repeat themselves.


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