Giving Girls a Second Chance | Bleader

Giving Girls a Second Chance

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I had somehow forgotten that San Francisco outfit Girls' Album was coming out, but then a download link popped up in my inbox this afternoon. Maybe I've just been avoiding the right blogs. Maybe my absent-mindedness in this particular case had something to do with Girls' set at one of the Hideout's Lollapalooza afterparties, which was kind of a letdown. The group—core duo Christopher Owens and Chet "JR" White, backed by a couple of other dudes—sank a little too deeply into a mellow haze, and the lack of energy coming off the stage, combined with the fact that they seemed to be playing only their slowest songs, didn't help me shake the exhaustion I was feeling after a day at the festival. On record, though, the balance is perfect, with punchy pop tunes like the bubblegummy "Laura" and the surfy "Big Bad Mean Motherfucker" lightening up the trippy wooziness that chilled-out numbers like "Ghostmouth" and the goddamn gorgeous "Hellhole Ratrace" emanate.

Owens grew up in the strange and fascinating Children of God cult, and his songs tend to have a lost, otherworldly feel, the same sort of not-of-this-body spiritual vibe you can pick up from a good number of his fellow San Franciscans. The music's got a ghost-of-the-60s thing going on too, with tip-of-the-tongue-familiar progressions floating through vast, reverb-heavy spaces. I've listened to "Laura" about a dozen times trying to figure out if its melody is lifted from a song I swear to God I can almost name or if it just sounds totally timeless. I'm sure I'll be giving it enough spins to come up with an answer.

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