Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Girlfriends :: Our Very First Cassette!

"Like getting your ass kicked by an 8 year old!"

Download "Girlfriends - Sucking Rare Meat off the Bone China!" (right click, save link as)

Once you pop this radioactive green cassette into your tape deck, you'll get three new girlfriends who like to hang out in dusty basements, make noise and yell at you. Oh, and two of them are guys. Maybe not the ideal romantic situation, but it makes for an excellent bopping, in your face, giddy garage punk trio. The menage a trios is a coalition of other local bands. Singer and guitarist Ben Portrykus' fronted the folk philosophers Christians & Lions and the digi-tape-loop project BAXIA, bassist Jen Dowty is formerly from Mmoss, and drummer Andrew Sadoway played with Mean Creek and also backs up Spirit Kid.

The DIY enthusiast, lo-fi grit production has a cavernous live sound from actually being recorded in an old warehouse and it remarkably still manages to maintain every note and lyric. Fuzzed out guitar flirts with different genres and their expectations, meandering through walls of feedback with old rock and roll melodies, surfy riffs and bouncy punk power chords. It’s all draw together with infectious tin can vocals and clever lines like “parasite for sore eyes” from ‘Slugger.’

There’s an inventiveness that mostly comes from a sarcastic humor in everything from the sound down to the catch-phrase “Nothing is fuuucked!” printed on the neon cassette. A spacey wah pedal solo on ‘Good to Be True’ could easily be a wacked out vocodor and the song ends with an off key falsetto. It’s a juxtaposition of childlike playfulness and hardcore punk rock, like getting your ass kicked by an 8 year old. In “Sucking Rare Meat off a Bone China,” a masturbation joke: “I found that touching so I touched it, now my palms went hairy, I'm blind” comes right after turning Ghandi on his head: “an 'I' for an 'I' makes the whole world 'yours' and 'mine.'”

However, some of the lyrics take music to task for credibility, like good punk rock should. ‘I Was Here But I Disappear’ challenges pop to a duel with “the same bands play the same shows every night,” and “it's just pretty songs by pretty people and it's tough for me to give a shit. Have I failed hedonistic calculus?” There’s always a self-aware element that makes it more about the band’s artistic presence in the music genres and scenes it explores. ‘Sucking Rare Meat’ asks itself “am I hungry for approval or for something to prove? It aint right, I lost my appetite, too fed up to move,” settling with “I just do what I do and I do and I do.”

As a good girlfriend should, this too short five track EP will leave you satisfied, but hurting for more.

Girlfriends are leaving footprints all around the greater Boston area. Check out their website for a list of shows. You can catch them on March 31st at the Middle East opening for Japandroids, which should be an outrageous show.

// Boston, MA //
// December 2009 //
// Released on Floating Garbage Continent //
// Recorded in a warehouse by Freddy Hamil and in Andrew Sadoway’s Mom’s Basement, both in Belmont, MA //
// Mastered by Emeen Zarookian //
// Produced by Girlfriends //

Abbreviated version published in Performer Magazine, March 2010 issue.

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