Hearing Golden Grrrls‘s eponymous LP for the first time is a bit like losing your virginity––you’re not sure what to look for, and it’s confusing the whole time. The lighthearted band have created a record full of uptempo songs fit for a day on the beach, but with a few twists that bend the listener’s ear.
The opening track, “New Pop,” starts off the album with a fast-paced groove reminiscent of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but then it gets weird. Golden Grrrls’s dual-vocals approach has their two singers (one male, one female) sing different lyrics, giving the music a confusing sound. The vocals are also panned to either side, so one can easily get lost listening to the band. “Think of the Ways” opens with a more friendly guitar riff that quickly reverts back to the odd vocal setup. It seems the band is muddying their sound in trying to be unique, though it certainly is a method most bands don’t use.
Songs like “Time Goes Slow” are more digestible, pairing the vocals on the same lyric to achieve a nice octave effect. Its malt shop instrumental bounces easily in the ear, and its succinct length helps. The Two Door Cinema Club-esque “Paul Simon” sounds nothing like the man, and instead pits jumpy drums with smooth vocals. “Date It” illustrates the primary problem with the band’s music; their complex arrangements of layering only confuse the listener, who is unsure of what to pay attention to, and so whirls around like a kid in a candy shop.
The band are unique, no doubt about that, in using a foreign approach to vocals and their sunny pop. However, their attempts at originality are masked by the thick, lo-fi blanket of sound that seems to coat the speakers. Golden Grrrls have talent in their arsenal, but it seems they’ve chosen to eschew that in favor of eccentricity.
MP3: Golden Grrrls “Paul Simon”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl