"Album" by Girls

Girls
Album

True Panther
2009

Review

I get random songs stuck in my head all the time. Sometimes, that's a good thing. Take for example this brilliantly named album "Album" by Girls. I listened to the album end to end, and then got "Ghostmouth" stuck in my head for a week. While most of the time having a song stuck in your head is as comforting as having the hiccups (especially when that song is something by Chumba Wumba or the Rednexx), I can honestly say that I didn't mind having that song stuck in my head and to my surprise I missed it when it was gone. There are many songs on this set that have that quality.

The whole album sounds like it was lovingly created in someone's apartment like the indy rock equivalent of Cody Chestnutt's "Headphone Masterpiece". And like Mr. Chestnutt's debut, Girls show some pretty raw emotion in their music. In many instances it seems like they've gone from the event that caused the emotion directly into the studio to hit the record button. Take the aforementioned "Ghostmouth" where lead singer Christopher Owens sings the following as if he's ready to break down and cry:

I've got nothing to do and nobody to see
Nowhere to go and nobody to be
I'm on a ghost train with a ghost clown
And I don't know how to get out and get up to heaven

The whole thing is just so raw. "God Damned" sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom and still manages to be a great performance. The low-fidelity aesthetic seems sincere enough to not be a gimmick and fits right along with the general feel of the album. To me this is indy rock at it's best. In terms of influences, this one is all over the place ("Big Bad Mean Motherfucker" sounds like the punk rock version of something from Grease while "Headache" sounds a bit like an Elvis ballad) and yet there seems to be a genuine1950's Rock and Roll feel throughout.

It feels strange to say this, but there's nothing necessarily edgy about this album. It all seems so very genuine and real and it's not trying to be anything other than just good music. I feel that so much of popular music is trying to start a trend or live up to an image. There's no image here. If you listen to this album, you just get a sense that the band just got together to make honest and effective Rock and Roll - even the ballads are great and it seems to me that a lot of Rock bands that are excellent when the amps are cranked up falter a bit when the lights dim low and the acoustic guitars come out.

If you love Indy Rock, you already own this. If you don't own this and like rock and are ok with having good tunes stuck in your head, pick this one up.

4.167 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Lust for Life (02:25) 5
2. Laura (04:51) 5
3. Ghost Mouth (03:11) 5
4. God Damned (02:17) 4
5. Big Bad Mean Motherfucker (02:15) 5
6. Hellhole Ratrace (06:56) 4
7. Headache (04:00) 4
8. Summertime (05:39) 4
9. Lauren Marie (04:58) 3
10. Morning Light (02:36) 4
11. Curls (02:08) 3
12. Darling (02:59) 4