“Father, Son, Holy Ghost” – Girls
Okay, so the new Girls album has dropped. Their self professed “3rd Record”, “Father, Son, Holy Ghost” comes after the debut album called “Album” and the 2009 EP “Broken Dreams Club”. The first song to be released off the album was “Vomit” and it really found Girls experimenting with the almost-twee pop that they had become known for. To be totally honest, I wasn’t super excited about hearing this cd. I saw them early in the year, and thought they were pretty disappointing. But I’m glad I did listen to it, because it really is a solid album.
The first thing I noticed about “F,S,HG” was the mixing, unlike “Album”, the drums can be clearly heard and are not hidden away in the background of the track. This makes the album have a more rock-like feel and allow the band to have some heavy jams like on the track “Die”. This was done seemingly because of the more vintage rock style that this album is going for and while it still retains the cutesy love songs from the band’s debut, they’re fleshed out sonically and have a bit more grunt on them. One thing I don’t like about the mixing of the album though, is the fact that the bass is sometimes masked by the bass drum. The band’s debut was great because of the interplay between the guitar and bass and I do feel that the band slightly looses this on some tracks.
This review would kind of be a diservice if I didn’t mention the track “Die”. For fans of Black Mountain, you will love this track, it’s heavy and has some killer riffs, along with some great guitar playing. It’s an almost completely different style to the rest of the album, but somehow it doesn’t feel too out of place. Although I do think the long ending and slow down is a bit laboured and is quite obviously an attempt to get the album back on track towards the more twee stylings of the rest of the album, and while I like that they’ve tried this is does seem a little artificial.
The first track that was released from the album was “Vomit”, and it’s a more sprawling track than the rest and I’m really liking the groove of it. The guitar’s a bit more ambitious and is brilliantly played, it’s a style that I would’ve loved to see the band experimenting more with, especially considering their somewhat famously disappointing live shows.
Reading this you may think I’m really not liking the album, but I just think the bands missed out on an opportunity to make something great. I love a lot of the songs and while the mixing is at times harmful to the music, it does allow the band to experiment in a heavier sound. But while they’ve successfully made some great “crossover” songs between the two styles, it seems a little too eclectic. I would’ve loved to hear Girls’ write a few more heavier songs and make an album from them (it would have been great), but unfortunately they’ve tried to take the best of both worlds and have gotten stuck halfway between two extremely good albums.
In the end, stick to the songs, they’re great and it really shows the qualities of these songwriters. But for some reason, the album kind of loses it’s charm and edge. The band needs to be applauded for trying something new though and I’ve got a lot of time for them.