Live Review: Sleepy Vikings @ Bella, 6/18/2011

In football, there is a defensive strategy known as the Tampa 2, wherein the point is to be super aggressive and kick all sorts of ass. It was popularized, appropriately enough, in Tampa. Now, out of that very same city, comes Sleepy Vikings, who while not quite as aggressive as the football scheme nor wearing any sort of protective headgear, still kinda kick all sorts of ass. After seeing these folks live, I'd venture to ask who needs the Tampa 2 when you can have this Tampa 6?

The six-piece from the Sunshine State was great from start to finish. Their sound, which for their being so young is quite impressive (this date was one on their first real tour), melds all sorts of goodness together into one big beautiful noise. You've got the fuzz of some good old shoegaze, lovely languid harmonies, and sweetly twangy, tangy folk all mixing together with a seaside specialness. You might could say they sell shoegaze by the seashore.

For being their first tour, the band had a quietly confident ease to their playing. Between songs they were adorably affable, telling jokes or relaying little stories. At one point we were told, "We secretly hate each other," and their giggles gave the truth away. While I wanted to pinch their collective cheek for being so dang cute, their music was polished and on point. Even the cover of the Britney Spears track "Toxic" (which seems to be popular cover fodder) was worthy of attention, so dark and sultry and powerful was it. For a minute there, I almost forgot they were doing a cover of a terrible pop song.

Sleepy Vikings, my darlings, was quite a treat. This band ticks all the boxes with their dreamy noise, hitting the right mix of gentleness and grit and bringing it all back home something purty. They won me over, and I suspect when you see them live they'll do the very same thing to you.

Flashlight Tag (Sleepy Vikings from They Will Find You Here)

[photo by Shanna Gillette]


Popular Posts