Father, Son, Holy Ghost is an unlikely title choice for an album that stays true to the modern musical standards of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Then again, Girls are a band comprised entirely of males so maybe outright contradiction is their thing. Or maybe for their title they exchanged the international garage band triumvirate for the paradigm of trinities because they’re just that clever. And maybe Girls is a nod to those who obviously inspire some of their most interesting tunes.
I’m going with the latter of my hypotheses because I want to believe that these guys are as brilliant as the constant repeat of the album in my headphones would have me believe.
This album is really hard to argue with. You would have to love to hate things to do it, like the Karl Lagerfield of the music industry, you would have to get off on stomping on everybody else’s ideas to claim that Girls’ sophomore full-length is lacking in any respect. It is retro in the best way, keeping all the working components of classic rock without any of the kitsch. The Kooks and The Libertines tried to make music like this, but maybe they were too British to make it work.
The sound of Girls is head-nodding for the most part, heartstring-pulling at times, and is definitely the kind of music you wish your boyfriend wrote instead of ripping off the Arctic Monkeys.
People who love Los Lobos and Elvis Costello will love it without annoying those around them who are sick of the hair gel and jean shopping worshipped by that ilk. People who love The Kinks and The Stooges, which I assume are all of you with a working heartbeat, will definitely fall into line by the third track, the distortion heavy “Die” in which Christopher Owens reminds us over and over and that we are totally, absolutely, without a doubt going to die. And sooner than we expect. This track tapers off into a several minute, guitar string bending instrumental that expertly melts into “Saying I Love You,” a goodbye song for sad saps.
If you happen to run into these guys in the Bay Area, make sure to give them a palm chaffing high five.