Girl Band

France 98

Written by: BV on 23/01/2013 16:33:34

For this review, I’m delving further into the sonic territory of Bleach-era Nirvana inspired sounds, and once again I find myself surrounded by buzzing, noisy guitar feedback, droning and repetitive bass-lines and deep, powerful drumming. In other words: the essential ingredients for an album of this genre. The album in this review is about is Girl Band’s “France 98”.

Girl Band is a kind of peculiar band name, for starters. Now you might ask, why? Simple, even though they are called Girl Band, it seems to me that there isn’t a single member of the band that is even remotely female. Quite peculiar indeed, but it does underline the fact that this album is not only heavy, but also incredibly quirky sounding. This is not to be understood in a negative way – on the contrary, actually. While most bands of this particular genre (and the vast variety of sub-genres) tend to be humorously “aggressive” sounding, this band just sounds heavy and kind of strange and mellow. I don’t really feel the vibe of excessive aggressiveness coming from this album.

With that said, the album opens fairly strong with the track “You’re A Dog”, which is actually a prime example of how to utilize feeding guitars with immaculate precision. Even though the tendency of letting the guitar feedback rule the breaks in the song is a staple of the genre, it is quite nice to just be able to hear feedback in a more controlled manner, if only just once in a while. The rest of the track more or less follows standard procedure for grungy, songwriting: pounding, repetitive basslines and immensely powerful drumming focusing on power over precision. – Which is actually just the way I like it in this genre.

“Second One” is one of the seminal moments of the album, in my humble opinion. Not only is it a powerful track with lots of fuzzy guitar, but it also contains some rather unique moments of genre-crossing. This track not only sounds grungy, but at certain times it dives directly into some sort of heavy psych, where the rules of grunge no longer apply, and all there is left is the droning noise of feedback, spacey vocals and hypnotic rhythms.

Even though the album contains some of the finest songs I’ve heard from this genre in quite some time, it does have its weak sides. In my opinion, there is a limit to how many songs in this style one can listen to, before the craving for a little diversity starts to rear its head. I might be a bit biased, as this is the second album of this genre in a row, I have had to review. But I do find “France 98” to be a bit too stretched out at times, and I think the album could benefit from a shorter runtime. However, as this is my only concern with the album, Girl Band can surely be proud of what they have created here, as it will probably be a main-stay of my music collection for quite some time. I am definitely looking forward to hearing some more from them.

Download: You’re A Dog, Busy At Maths, Second One
For The Fans Of: Bleach-era Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Jesus Lizard

Release Date 04.02.2012
Any Other City Records

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