Naming the follow-up single to your successful debut album Vomit is nothing short of an audacious move. However, Christopher Owens and Chet White of Girls did just that (it seems appropriate to mention that Vomit is just one song on a growing list of deliciously-named Girls’ songs, including standouts such as Big Bad Mean Mother Fucker, Hellhole Ratrace, and Die). However, the much lauded 2009 release Album introduced Girls’ jangly instrumentation and lyrical focus predominately on angsty teenagers. Girls’ relaxed surfer-style ballads won over the hearts of many. However, while Owens and White hit several enormous highs on Album, the overall work felt patchy and unfinished. In late 2010, Girls dished out the Broken Dreams Club EP, a superb six song album-ette that showed great stylistic growth and maturity. Two years after an intriguing debut, Girls have given us Father, Son, Holy Ghost.
Groovy, jangly, and catchy as fuck, the opener Honey Bunny is everything you could want in a Girls song. The cute riffs and sweet harmonies exhibited here characterize the album. Owens turns his amp volume up from his usual four to maybe five or six on Die, a song that tries hard to mix things up and throw some White Stripes-style heavy guitar at us. Simply put, the song is too pretty to give off any harsh vibes. Exhausted after going all out, the amps are quieted down and Girls settle down into a really solid five song streak, including my personal favorites Saying I Love You and Just a Song. Girls once again channel Elvis Costello on Magic, a song led by White’s strong drumming. Likely under-appreciated, White’s consistently great performances on the drums tie any loose ends on the album together, such as the closers Love Like a River and Jane Marie.
Father, Son, Holy Ghost is another great album from Girls. Owens continues to establish himself as a strong songwriter in a band that is settling into its own style. With the exception of some extraneous minutes that could have been cut out, this is album is fucking great. As reminiscent and sentimental as it is innovative and original, Father, Son, Holy Ghost is one of the most interesting listens of the year so far.
1. Honey Bunny
4. Saying I Love You
5. My Ma
7. Just a Song
10. Love Like a River
11. Jamie Marie