Album Review: Girl Guts

Girl Guts released Madge in January on Seattle based label Haze Tapes. This is a short five song cassette-only release that was recorded in 2011 at the infamous Lil’ Wisconsin. These songs are older recordings of tracks that appear on Victoria (The Honest Ones, Gasoline and Alcohol, Two Kids, Come Clean, thAlbum e Horses Got Out). Though Madge is the first official release of these particular recordings, they have been previously available under the title, Demo 2011.
Madge may serve as a sort of time capsule for where the band was a few years ago, and it’s interesting to listen to these recordings after you’ve seen their live shows or listened to Victoria. It’s not as if the musical arrangements on these songs are very different than their more recent versions (if at all), but in contrast to Victoria, the noticeably slower tempos and softer distortions on Madge gives it a more conservative feel, a subtle shift that suggests that Girl Guts have grown considerably heavier over the years. The slower feel doesn’t change the quality of this release because it sounds amazing. The guitars are thick and creamy and the mix is well balanced, and the cassette format of Madge seems to add a level of warmth that is very sonically appealing.
If it’s been a while since you’ve used that old cassette player, Madge is a very cool reason to blow the dust off of it and check out this small slice of local music history.
–Jake Werrion