Tuesday, September 29

Girls- 'Album'

. Tuesday, September 29

There is so much hype and mythology surrounding the San Fransisco band Girls that it is easy to forget that they do indeed make music and write songs. From lead singer Chris Owen’s past as a part of the Children of God cult to the bands open and frank discussion of drug use they have come across in the recent press deluge as almost too perfect, 100% legitimate but drenched in diverting rock ‘n’ roll cache. The thing is Girls don’t need the admittedly intriguing hoopla surrounding them, their songs really do speak for themselves.

From the opening chords of ‘Lust For Life’ the jarringly titled ‘Album’ plays like a greatest hits of a long forgotten band. Dripping with melody and making eyes across a smoky room at influences as disparate as Elvis Costello and the Marychain it sounds instantly classic. Not classic in the sense that it is immediately memorable or representative of a snapshot of time but ‘Album’ carries itself like a champ, strutting tall and proud. Girls know they are good, they’re just waiting for everyone to catch up and get horizontal with them. ‘Album’ is essentially a break up album and things start off with the list of things Owen’s feels he needs to win back his girl (A loving man, a father, a pizza and a bottle of wine) on the jaunty future anthem ‘Lust For Life’. The story of solitude and inebriation reaches its climax with the long locked lothario refusing to let go of the dream reconciliation (‘Lauren Marie’) but not before the inevitable drug infused meltdown (‘Hellhole Ratrace’) and the dream sequence seduction of ‘Big Bad Mean Motherfucker’.

The second man in Girls is Chet ‘JR’ White who handles the production and recording side of things. His deft touch and understanding of technique drags ‘Album’ beyond being an homage to obvious influences instead making it, much like The Horrors ‘Primary Colours’, feel like a modern re-imagination of a dusty box of 7”s.

The obvious nods to certain influences may bother some, particularly on ‘…Motherfucker’ which is essentially a hipster approved Grease soundtrack but the vintage sonics add a hallmark of quality throughout. ‘Album’ is a dreamy and hallucinogenic trip into the minds of two warped romantics suffering from that most vibe killing bummer- heartbreak. With each musical mask Owen’s and White put on they delve further into the solitude and pain they feel at being alone and indeed drag themselves out with the hope and optimism romance brings. Captured perfectly amidst chasms of reverb, slacker nihilism and a hazy transatlanticism this is one ‘Album’ you can’t neglect from your collection.


For Gigwise.com


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