20 Watts


20 Watts Reviews Girls’ Album by JohnCassillo
Girls' debut full-length is a lot to take in

Girls' debut full-length is a lot to take in

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Girls’ “Solitude” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 13/20 Watts

First feelings toward Girls might be of loathing and contempt.  No band with any sort of empathy towards their listeners would name themselves Girls and title their first record Album. Seriously, try Googling that. Unless you wanted to listen to Donna Summer’s eighth album, Bad Girls, you are fresh out of luck.

But, as good music has been made by infuriating jerks who take any and all opportunities to alienate their fans and apologists (thank you, Wavves) it’s good to approach this with an open mind. It’s fairly standard girls-don’t-like-me lyrics, sung in a nasally whine that sounds like David Byrne taking a hit of helium. Musically,  it’s a bit more interesting. (More interesting than the lyrics, not more interesting than David Byrne taking a hit of helium, which would be awesome.)

Yes, Girls ape the late-60s San Francisco scene like they were paid on the basis of how many Love arrangements they could co-opt in a single album.  Fortunately, Album isn’t all hippie “teach your children well” dreck.  Cheap Trick is a definite reference point, as is early Buddy Holly, and there might be a bit of ’80s hair metal in there too.

So you might be thinking to yourself “Wow, Beach Boys mixed with Cheap Trick, this sounds cool!” And, for the most part, you would be right. Girls are brimming with ideas, and most songs have at least a little bit of fun and whimsy in them.  Girls are at their most effective when they’re short and snappy. The two best songs, “Lust For Life” and “Morning Light” are both under three minutes. The majority however, are not. “Hellhole Ratrace” is a very good song, but at seven minutes, it overstays its welcome.

Album is by no means terrible. It’s definitely worth a listen, but it’s so laid-back and unassuming that it fails to engage the listener, and will probably be forgotten about it in the next couple of months.

— Marc Sollinger

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