Times New Viking's tour of America's legendary indie-rock labels continues with their first release for Merge after a few albums on Matador and then Siltbreeze. By 2015, they'll be on SST, and by late 2015, they'll be suing Greg Ginn. But right now, in 2011, they've done the inevitable and tidied up just a bit. The overwhelming fuzz and full-blown levels of past TNV joints have given way to a slightly more presentable sound. The fidelity's still low — this ain't no Mutt Lange production — but Dancer Equired doesn't scrape out your eardrums when you listen to it on headphones. The album feels less urgent and reckless, but you may also find it easier to focus on the songs, which are a vital part of the record-making process that Times New Viking have excelled at. The always-present kiwi-pop influence — these folks obviously love the Clean — is more blatant with the band's new-found noise reduction. The continuous hitmaking of Present the Paisley Reich might be gone forever, but Dancer Equired offers up enough catchy pop jams to warrant a listen.
TIMES NEW VIKING + THE BABIES | Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston | May 26 @ 9 pm | $14 doors | 617.566.9014