Music is hard to really critique when there is any level of nostalgia involved. It’s almost impossible to be unbiased in some way. Instantly there is a bit of a taint to it. It reminds you of something you already like or dislike, and then you have to overcome that bias. Otherwise, it just makes you think of things you already listen to, and there is a non-stop comparison. It’s ultimately not fair to what you are listening to. That is the main problem I’ve had with Viewfinder. They are a very talented band, but so much of my opinion of them is filtered through something else.
In general terms, Viewfinder is a band that is rooted in old alternative and college rock. Do You Even Want Anything? is a record that, if released 25 years ago, would have been a cutting edge release. Viewfinder share a lot of sonic similarities to Dinosaur Jr, Pavement, or the Lemonheads. They make music that is heavily distorted while maintaining a pop sensibility that shines through. “Orbs And Ooze” is a great example of what the band brings to the table. It’s a song that is built around a pretty simple, driving riff. The great vocal hooks in the chorus makes it really enjoyable.
The rest of the record plays very similar. The choruses are huge, the riffs are strong, and songs are the type that will stick in your head. The production is also perfect for the genre. Lo-fi enough to add character, but polished enough to makes everything pop. Songs like “Out Of Sight” and “Stroke Of Genius” show the strength of that approach.
Do You Even Want Anything? can get a bit throwback-y in places. Viewfinder are certainly talented enough to not let it stay that way too long. If you want a quick blast of nostalgia, then this record is for you. On the other hand, this record is also for you if you like good songs that have a lot of heart. Either way, give it a go.