Girls: ‘Father, Son, Holy Ghost’ — 4.5 out of 5 stars

Republished from The Maneater


Lest Beyoncé let you forget, girls run the world. Women have been the inspiration and primary cause of wars, the fall of man and, most importantly, lots and lots of songs. After decades and decades of tunes about girls named Caroline, Roxanne and Billie Jean, San Franciscans Christopher Owens and Chet “JR” White decided to cut to the chase and form the band Girls.With song titles like “Laura” and “Jamie Marie,” Girls doesn’t exactly buck the aforementioned trend, but that’s kind of the point. Girls takes the established, well-worn characteristics of American music and molds them into its own modern style. The band’s newest release, “Father, Son, Holy Ghost,” perpetuates the group’s remarkable ability to consistently reach the high standard it has set for itself.

Like its namesake gender, Girls can be pretty (“Jamie Marie”), moody (“Vomit”) or flat-out abrasive (“Die”). But with the capital-G Girls, the latter part of the whole “Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em” thing seems much more applicable. However, outside of the band’s aptitude for melody and finding just the right chord progression, it’s not very obvious, at least upon first listen, why this music works as well as it does.

After peeling away the layers, however, the key to Girls’ success becomes more apparent: This band is a scrapbook. One, it’s gut-wrenchingly personal, and two, it pastes together countless classic elements of old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, be they surfer, soul or sock-hop, into an extremely effective memory book of Americana that still works perfectly in 2011.

The band almost seems to function as a musical reincarnation of Quentin Tarantino (albeit with a much larger dose of subtlety), taking advantage of its love for the medium it functions within and masturbatorily paying homage at every corner to its beloved predecessors.

On “Father, Son, Holy Ghost,” Girls’ amalgamation-fueled formula works as effectively as ever, if not more so. With this retro-mash style, the band is a perfect, much-needed characterization of timelessness. Girls and music: two things that will never grow old.


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