2009 Top 50 Albums

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Creating a Top 50 Albums list is never easy.  You have to battle with what you think the world believes, and what you truly believe in your heart, to be solid jams.  We have even more trouble because we have to three writers, all who have different ideas, and we have to make those ideas fit into a neat box.  Well, we got it done, and honestly, our criteria was based on two things: how great we thought the album was, artistically speaking, and how long we listened to it without getting bored.  That’s it. It’s fool proof; you might not like it, but it’s our list, so here it is… Read more

Girls – Album

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Rating: ★★★★½

You’ve all heard of the San Francisco duo, now set up to include two more bros from California to complete the band Girls.  They’ve been posted about, not just on our site, but on every other web site across the web, and people have been buzzing about this record for a long time.  So here we have Album, the group’s first full length, and surprisingly, they hit exactly the mark they were set up to miss.

Opening an album with one of the competitors for song of the year is never a bad way to begin, and “Lust for Life” fulfills from the start. Jangling guitars and the backbeat of beach music, create one of the catchiest numbers in 2009.  And, the subject matter, though not the most poetic, seems rife with optimism, and the band are ready to “make a brand new start.”

So you slide into “Laura,” and you can see a possible drawback as soon as singer Christopher Owens opens up is album.  He’s got a voice that doesn’t ever seem to hit a note, but its those imperfections that seem to make the record continuously successful.  It’s reminiscent of countless indie singers, singing with the only tool they’ve got, and despite the occasional off-kilter note, their exists a certain honesty which makes it all so endearing.

Adding another element to the mix is the group’s diversity within their own lo-fi spectrum.  “Ghost Mouth” is the ballad, slowly waltzing through a hazy bit of light guitars and mellow percussion. From here, they switch it up by adding a bit of art and obscurity to their own li-fi spin on “God Damned.”  Then, they blast off down the stretch of California coastal highways on “BIg Bad Mean Motherfucker, kicking out the traditional surf rock.  All this building to the perfect opus that is “Hellhole Ratrace.” As those who caught wind of this tune months prior to the album’s release can attest, you’ll be hard pressed to find another drawn out song, with such simple lyrics, that can draw you into it time and time again.  Hell yeah it’s repetitive, but it’s so rewarding that the group might just be giving Phoenix a run for their money by releasing two great singles on one album.

Still, they never seem to be a static band, rarely staying in one place throughout the entire album.  In a time when a lot of music comes off redundant on albums, this one seems to offer something new around every little corner. “Lauren Marie,” for instance, is a sparse number with little else to add to it other than Owens continuous cooing of the name Lauren Marie. Yet, you’ll take your time to listen to it over and over again.  But, they continue their change-ups with “Morning Light,” with it’s fuzzy full throttle take on the straight ahead pop tune. This is precisely why Girls seem to be one of the few bands coming to us by way of the endless hype machine that can truly back up the world’s adoration by placing us into such an enjoyable listen.  You’ll surely find yourself listening to Album time and time again.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/01-lust-for-life.mp3]

Download: Girls – Lust for Life [MP3]

Girls Announce Release Date

girls During SXSW we took it upon ourselves to investigate the hype generated by San Francisco’s Girls. Lucky for us, they completely lived up to the hype, if not rising above and beyond. Now we finally have a release date for their debut, Album, which will be released on True Panther Records via Matador Records. The album comes out on September 22nd, and the following song “Lust for Life” is slated as the opening track. Look out album of the year, here come Girls.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/01-lust-for-life.mp3]

Download: Girls – Lust for Life [MP3]

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