Golden Grrrls leave me in such a predicament. Have you ever heard an artist or a band that come across so sloppy and mumblecore happy that you’re not sure if it sounds terrible or actually like a piece of twisted genius for being able to miss any note that matters?
The problem doesn’t lie in the percussion nor the guitar or bass work. As openers “New Pop” and “Past Tense” showcase, the trio have a great penchant for writing quick, complex knitted together four chord melodies that work quite well. But then comes the singing….
There’s a male and female vocal and they bounce off each other on the same frequency level and do not even attempt to keep in tune. It’s like a drunken hi-school singalong. It’s not pretty and it feels too falsely “hip and cool”. It’s a shame as by “Paul Simon” on track 3 I’m thinking, these tunes sound so ramshackle in a good way but I can’t quite get into them for the mumbling that is mistaken for vocal delivery. Thankfully each song is short so the hippy rock “Think of the Way” where the vocalists try to overlap eachother properly is over quickly as it’s actually painful. “Older Today” is more bearable as the guitars overpower the vocals and no one tries anything obviously beyond them. “Take Your Time” has a late 80’s pop rock vibe where as “Time Goes Slow” shows hints of promise as the vocals get as close to in tune as they’ve been all record. “Wrld Peace” too isn’t as bad as you intially think either as the guitar riff leads the song excellently. It sadly falls back apart again for “Never Said Enough” whilst “Date It” ends up sounding like a demo mix that’s slightly uncomfortable to the ear. Closer “We’ve Got…” then sums up every single problem I have with the album in two and half minutes.
So why am I torn? I think it’s because I can see so much potential there if the vocals just were vaguely in tune. The male vocals are worse than the females but there’s not much in it and it utterly ruins the vibe. I completely understand sloppy rock is the road that Golden Grrrls are taking but actually, some vocal effort would have made it worthwhile.