Local music review: Times New Viking and Psychedelic Horseshit

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

How time flies! It’s been nearly three years since Times New Viking signed to Matador, released “ Rip It Off” and became the toast of indie-rockdom, and almost two since Psychedelic Horseshit’s Matt Whitehurst gave his infamous Washington Post interview skewering Wavves and other buzz bands.

In the interim, Horseshit cleared the vaults of material new and old and endured the departure of drummer Rich Johnston. Meanwhile, TNV dropped the more-challenging “Born Again Revisited,” got dropped themselves by their label and recorded a studio-scrubbed new LP for future release.

It’s becoming rare to find these noise-pop titans on Columbus stages, much less playing together as they did so often before MTV’s brief dalliance with shitgaze. So seeing them at Carabar on Thanksgiving eve was a foregone conclusion.

The “shitgaze” tag began as a joking reaction to Whitehurst’s claim that he was influenced by My Bloody Valentine’s shoegaze production values. That influence was more evident than ever when he performed last Wednesday with serial collaborator Ryan Jewell.

Whitehurst sang and strummed — on every beginner’s favorite, a Squier Strat, naturally — and Jewell manned a drum kit when not hovering over the pair’s stash of keyboards and electronics. The songs were crackling, brittle cousins to the electronic beats and gauzy clouds of “Loveless,” a heavenly racket that made me eager to hear whatever recordings Whitehurst has undoubtedly been stockpiling.

Times New Viking trotted out some newfangled compositions, too. No lineup changes here, just a continuation of the trio’s subtle evolution: If they played like Guided by Voices’ ballistic flower children before, they’ve matured into something more like Bob Pollard’s artsy drinking buddies.

While the “No Room To Live” 7-inch indicates their sessions at Musicol dispersed with the trademark basement hiss, they were as noisy as ever live, particularly when Beth Murphy traded keyboards for guitar. Even the few familiar selections on the setlist skewed toward TNV’s most abrasive.

I could have used a few more greatest hits. Nonetheless, the Clean-inspired stomper “No Room To Live” was strong enough to survive classic TNV flubs like Jared Phillips bungling the big guitar spotlight and Murphy singing out of key. Precision was never the point with this band, anyway.