Album.: “Girls – Album

(2009, Indie Pop / Rock, Lo-Fi)
The band known as Girls can come off as chuckle or grin-inducing, and even parodical sometimes. But these who named their debut album Album (cue chuckle) harness their off-kilter indie pop to achieve an inescapable charm by third listen. Oddly affecting ‘Laura’ ends with a jazzy lounge part and gives way to superb grower ‘Ghost Train,’ then lightens the mood with ‘God Damned’ and ‘Big Bad Mean Mother Fucker,’ two very strange lo-fi indulgences. Then just when it seems Album is going to derail from mock playfulness, the listener’s world of notions is destroyed and rebuilt in six minutes with the larger than life shoegazer ‘Hellhole Ratrace,’ the song that makes Girls the easiest band to relate to. The second half is very memorable, from the impenetrable distorted melancholy of ‘Morning Light’ to the spaghetti western country blues of closer ‘Solitude’. Album embraces 60’s pop, shoegaze, lo-fi, noise, and just straight indie rock, leaving a bag of mixed feelings in its wake, but somehow draws repeated listens that just keep repeating, until it seems a true and reliable friend, flaws and all.