Girls - Album (Turnstile)

28 Oct 2009

“these girlies go all out to impress, dressing their music up to the nines- they only went and tried on a twenty-second harmonica solo for size by the end of the first track. tug at our old folksy heart strings, why don’t you..?”; release – ‘09

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These girlies go all out to impress, dressing their music up to the nines- they only went and tried on a twenty-second harmonica solo for size by the end of the first track. Tug at our old folksy heart strings, why don’t you?

Whilst Christopher Owens and Chet White couldn’t avoid becoming this year’s lo-fi craze, the band have, unlike others, made a genuine-sounding psychedelic album by fusing half-Dylan-half-Wilson-esque vocals with crudely untidy guitar lines and awesome percussion (vibraslap and cabasa to name just a couple). These elements enable the Girls to transport the listener back to ‘60s America; take the fifth song on Album ‘Big Bad Mean Motherf**ker’, which imitates The Beach Boys’ ‘60s surf music, and will undoubtedly make you feel like you’re at a Grease-like high school dance.

It all gets a bit depressingly Glasvegas by ‘Hellhole Ratrace’ as Owens professes “I got a sad song in my sweet heart,/ And all I ever need is some love and attention”, which most likely refers to his towards his unhappy Children Of God cult upbringing he escaped at the age of sixteen. The lyrics of ‘Ghost Mouth’, which are said to be the only ones on Album that directly refer to his unique childhood, reveal Owens’ longing for escape and freedom: “I’m a ghost man in a ghost town,/ And I just wish I could get out and get up to heaven”

By ‘Morning Light’, though, the previously morose mood is grounded with heavier guitar lines and androgynous Owens’ more optimistic lyrics: “Meet me in the sky tonight,/ We can fly away together”.  Sure, there are a few rip-offs as usual, but Girls’ bizarre choices of influences (listen out for a hint of ‘My Cherie Amour’ in ‘Headache’, for one) make them quite lovable, really; it’s quite refreshing not to be hearing another carbon copy of Is This It.

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