Without any background, diving into this album by local risers Girl Guts caught me flat-footed. Kicking off their 12 Sounds LP is a fireball of a track,‘Perspective.’ Hoarse shouting with strong melody and honest, angsty lyrics carry along some beer-commercial riffs that get your hands out of your too cool pockets and by the third track, it’s hard not to ‘whoa’ along.
After the ‘Nothing’s sacred’ arc of tracks 2-5, things switch up, at the perfect time, and much to the benefit of all involved. Twelve tracks of what the first five offer would wear quickly, despite the track #2 acoustic interlude. So after four fantastic punk-rock (punky rock?) songs, we get some more anthemic stylings, which shows off the band’s fantastic knack for melodies.
To those just listening for songs, this album stands out as having incredibly solid songs, and to the music-nerd ear, the tasteful use of accidentals and discordant turnarounds shows a well-seasoned and expert ear for songwriting. The three songs immediately following the arc offer a kind of songwriting that has broad appeal without ‘selling out’ their aggressive and sarcastic core sound. To close the album, GG chose to go a mosaic route, with hard and fast songs mixed with slower, bashier ones. Even the tracks that might sound like filler, at first, redeem themselves immediately after you start to get that impression with a clever hook, fill, riff, or solo. I didn’t find myself wanting to skip a single song, and I was excited for each chorus and bridge, because these guys really drive home the hook. The production is solid and energetic, with every instrument represented strongly and the vocals sound awesome and aggressive, really filling out their space well. I would like a more powerful snare tone, but there’s only so much room in the mix for balls, and these guys have jam-packed their full-length debut with huevos. They can clearly play and, rather than trying to impress, just do as a matter of fact. This is one of those ‘local bands from another town’ that you love through the Internet, but we’re lucky to have them in our back yard.