Friday, December 10, 2010

Review (CD): Broken Dreams Club by Girls

Girls. Broken Dreams Club (EP). Fantasy Trashcan / Turnstile Records, 2010.

Review Written by Tom Wilmeth 10 December 2010

Woe! A semi-stretch band with horns. And a steel guitar. And a mellotron! And plenty of mood. And an ethereal voice appropriately hidden in the mix. And interesting songs. And guitars that sounds like they are on loan from Chris Isaak’s Silvertones at their most atmospheric. This all adds-up to a distinctive and memorable collection.

Brief and to the point -- Broken Dreams Club by the band Girls is a musical high mark for 2010, arriving just in time to make the onset of winter seem a little less glum. Christopher Owens is clearly the driving force behind the group Girls – principal songwriter, guitar, vocals; he is even responsible for the CD’s cover art. Still, producer Chet Jr. White is also inseparable from the success of this 30-minute studio set. It is appropriate that White is listed immediately under Owens on the CD’s list of credits.

The Girls know the sound they are after – and they nail it with seeming effortlessness. Like slowly waking from a dream, the ethereal and compelling closing track “Carolina” drifts through your brain for nearly four minutes before Owens’ first vocal line emerges. White’s production takes the sound from phantasmagoric blend to crisply delineated sounds with the precision and expertise of a man well acquainted with his sound board. Fine songs, well recorded -- the six selections on this EP are often haunting, beckoning one to return to the set for repeated listenings.

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