Release Date: Mar 12, 2013
Record label: Slumberland
Scottish trio Golden Grrrls hit all the right indie pop notes on their self-titled debut LP. The group makes a happy and super-catchy clatter that draws inspiration from originators like the Pastels and Shop Assistants, but still sounds quite contemporary thanks to a raft of bands (like Veronica Falls and Sweater Girls) using the same noise-meets-melody template, and the record is a short, sweet semi-shambolic delight. All three bandmembers (two females/one male) sing, their unschooled voices twisting and turning all around each other while they pound and strum at their instruments in a similarly simple, but effective, manner.
When your shtick is all about sounding like you’ve written all your songs in five minutes and recorded them in a shed, the only way to do it well is to keep the tunes short. Glaswegian trio Golden Grrrls (exxxcellent name) know the rules. Few of the 11 songs on their debut clock in at over three minutes, and few of them deviate from a genre loosely pigeonholed as ‘lo-fi, ramshackle bounce’.
Just a few days ago I was lamenting the unpopularity of twee, one of my favorite musical genres that seemed to rise and fall in the span of a scant few 80s and 90s years. I don't think it has mass appeal, and I understand why; it's often tone deaf, has very low production values as a matter of course, and is undeniably precious in a way that likely annoys more often that it charms. But I for one miss Sarah records, and I miss The Magnetic Fields' 100,000 Fireflies, and I miss that warm "it's just my friends dicking around in the living room" feeling that twee always washed over me.
It wouldn't be unfair to assume that a band named Golden Grrrls is likely to have been influenced by the likes of Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear and Bratmobile. Indeed, many would take such an association as a compliment rather than stereotypical assumption, and while to my knowledge no one here at Drowned In Sound has specifically sought any of Golden Grrrls' views on such a claim, we'll use our powers of instinctive deduction to decree riot grrrl's influence on the band's existence at some point. Nevertheless, it would also be churlish to simply pinpoint a band's name and align it with a particular style or genre of music.
Remember how the internet was supposed to make albums extinct? Around the turn of the century, serious-minded pop scholars were telling us that listeners would stop caring about compendiums of songs with pre-designed tracklists and conceptual underpinnings. The online world was supposed to free us from the tyranny of 50-minute bulks of music. We would now only be concerned with gloriously succinct, stand-alone tunes.
Sometimes a good band name is more about raising an intrigued eyebrow than saying anything about the music the band plays. Though the name suggests snarling riot grrrl revival and/or smirking pop culture referencing, the self-titled debut from Golden Grrrls is delivered with the candid warmth of a whispered diary entry. After a few lo-fi singles established their interest in DIY punk, the Glasgow trio wash off the fuzz to reveal a breezy heart.
Glasgow's Golden Grrrls are the latest band to keep the fine tradition of Scottish indie-pop alive with their quite literal take on the glory days of C86. Their self-titled debut is jam-packed with the types of songs that the Shop Assistants and the Fat Tulips specialised in: short, with lots of fast, fuzzy guitars and sweet harmonies. While they're hardly reinventing the wheel, the trio know how to make it spin smoothly — tracks hurtle along effortlessly and the boy-girl vocals are a joy.
On their self-titled debut LP, Golden Grrrls have suffered an identity crisis. The Glasgow three-piece eschew the painfully emotive rock that many from their fair city have made a name with. Instead, they champion the uncomplicated lo-fi aesthetic that's been sweeping Australia as of late. There's no shortage of summery harmonies, which are complemented by a constant, inoffensive, jangly vibe.
Golden Grrrls were born in a bedroom at the end of the last decade, and before too long the time-killing project blossomed in to a fully-fledged band who were quickly tipped. However, after three years of varied obstacles, it’s only now they’re releasing a long-awaited debut album.Time has not been wasted between then and now. It’s clear the Glasgow and London-based band have consumed a steady diet of their home city’s flagship output: the influence of The Pastels and The Vaselines, and the output of the Flying Nun label is clear.