Saturday, March 27, 2010

Girls Against Boys - You Can't Fight What You Can't See


It's kinda weird what this whole blogging-a-review-a-day is doing to my perception of music.  For instance, while listening to this CD (in the car en route to and from work, as is my wont) I became caught up in a train of thought about drum kits.  I was wondering if hard rock bands could forego the tinny sounds of the hi-hat, with a special foot pedal control instead operating another method of hitting a tom or a snare.  Because when you have a really hard driving rock sound, the hi-hat sounds positively - well, not to be delicate - pussy.

The drummer in Girls Against Boys is just so enamoured of his cymbal sounds, it's such a shame - because for my ears it takes away from what could be a really great example of post-punk New York style rock.  I also found the songwriting varied greatly, shifting from straight-and-boring rock to the post-punk variety.  I liked BFF and Kicking the Lights, and Let it Breathe is a nice way to close out the album, but generally - not impressed. 

Drummer - lose the hi-hat and stop banging that cymbal so much.  DRUM!



This is another of those albums in our collection I totally forgot about.  I saw GVSB on tour with Australia's Magic Dirt some years ago now and remember being blown away by the twin bass guitar sound.  Up until then, I'd not even heard of the band.  But after the show, I went out and got You Can't Fight What You Can't See and was as impressed with this album as I was with their live show.

Theirs is a dark, rhythm-driven sound, heavy on drums and bass, naturally, nor are they not afraid to use new technologies to add to their overall driving sound.  Scott McCloud's sneering vocal delivery, coupled with the hardcore leanings of the music puts me in mind of a few other bands, most notably Fugazi and Sonic Youth. Thankfully, GVSB don't lean on these other acts too much, carving their own sound out of this template.

Favourites tracks include All The Rage, 300 Looks For The Summer (with its I don't like Hollywood repeated refrain), The Come Down, One Perfect Thing and Miami Skyline.  And while the band has been quiet for a number of years, I was pleased to read they've recently completed a tour of Europe and are also planning some recording time.  I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of this.


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