Times New Viking Born Again Revisited

Now that lo-fi is the production style of choice by virtually half the new bands out there the backlash is in full effect. But "shitgaze" originators Times New Viking aren't changing a thing on their fourth album. Despite advertising the sound as "25 percent higher fidelity," Born Again Revisited isn't markedly different; the trio still hunger for hissy amplification, plastering their tasty pop morsels with it. And while TNV might mask everything with tape hiss, these Ohioans have hooks sweating out of every pore. "I Smell Bubblegum" may sound like some pounding indie rock but the titular chorus has tremendous lasting power, and both "Move To California" and "No Time, No Hope" are as amiable as anything label-mates Yo La Tengo have done, but steeped in intense treble. However, the mid-tempo let-up of "2/11 Don't Forget" shows they're as interested in toning it down as they are having unbridled punk fits like "High Holidays." If anything, the quality of Born Again Revisited makes the argument that Times New Viking should be viewed as true popsmiths instead of noisemakers or trendsetters. (Matador)