LA newcomers keep things simple on a debut EP frothing with fear, rage and empowerment
The radical power of simplicity is by no stretch a new musical concept; its lineage can be traced from The Shaggs through the Marine Girls and the output of K Records, the Washington label that made a virtue of pared-back expression in the 1980s. Joining that school are LA duo Girlpool, whose debut EP (released on Bandcamp before Wichita snapped them up) comprises just the caustic voices and twangs of guitarist Cleo Tucker and bassist Harmony Tividad. It’s easy to confuse simplicity with triteness, but the pair have a knack for magnetic and clearly considered ditties: ‘Blah Blah Blah’ and ‘Jane’ boast menacing basslines (and the latter a terrifying scream); ‘Paint Me Colors’ and ‘Plants And Worms’ are chiming bummer jams; while they sing in gorgeous, latticing acapella harmonies on ‘Slutmouth’. Tucker and Tividad push against the limitations of their rough recording equipment in a way that lets their sentiments – of fear, rage, cynicism and empowerment – flare with an extra layer of confrontation.
Record label: Wichita
Release date: 17 Nov, 2014