album review – The Girls’ “Gimmie Some Lips”
By Brian Tucker
It has been said that when the Ramones played a town ten bands would form. Nearly 45 years after Ramones formed, their sound carries on. Though most of its members have passed away all those shows they played haven’t. Many are found on bootleg albums, that and the studio albums still influence bands, to play a style of music that will continue on in perpetuity – shrift, blazing guitar riffs and simple lyrics about succinct ideas.
One of those bands is The Girls, a trio with two EP’s under their belts and a raucous sound that takes the Ramones influence and marries it with the full-tilt energy of punk and rock and roll bands. They make catchy songs with a polished, dirty sound. It’s fast, sometimes snarling rock and roll done with a sense of danger, attitude, and a knack for catchy songs.
Moreover, it’s fun, and only suffers from the confines of being played on a stereo, or worse, streamed. This is the type of music you’re supposed to lose some of your hearing too. The sound is about pure abandon, endless energy, and the youthful privilege of recklessness, where the music of “My Body Hurts” paints a picture of it all.
On Gimmie Some Lips they sing about their generation, making a mess and breaking shit, dancing double entendres, and there’s the spitfire catchiness of singing “do I do I do I do I do.” The music is always in overdrive, songs that rarely veer from the two minute mark. The EP is a fifteen minute caffeine injection and if you like the buzzsaw guitar playing it will leave you wanting some more.
The band is smart – they know to get in, get out, and leave memorable damage. And it’s a crisp recording (done at Bunker Sound in Chapel, Hill, N.C.) – gnarly rhythm guitar work, great leads (see “Do You Wanna Dance”), drumming that crashes and thumps like a nervous rabbit’s pulse. JP Verardi is a solid lead singer, a cool mix of raspy and dejected and not feeling either way about it.
On their debut EP Social Anxiety they played a fine cover of Zodiac Panthers’ “So Sick of Your Face.’ Here, it’s not a cover as much as a seemingly direct nod to another Wilmington band, Thunderlip. “Kink in the System” has them sounding like another band entirely, and the song feels like schizophrenic cover of Lip’s “Denim Destiny,” from its gravity-less guitar work to the carefree vocal delivery.
The Girls have it together, the image and the sound, and the two EP’s say as much. But the real test will be when they move beyond what’s come before and they write their own mythology.