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BEST IN THE WEST
One of the reasons Girls can change their sound up as freely as they can while still sounding distinctly like the same band album to album is probably because they didn’t really have a “sound” to begin with. Singer Chris Owens stated their aptly named debut album, Album, was an “overflow of expression” that had been pent-up inside him during his years in the rock-disapproving Children of God cult. As a result, “Vomit” sounds unmistakably like a Girls song, but at the same time, it sounds like nothing we’ve heard from them. This six-and-a-half-minute, classic-rock-inspired epic starts out as a tender acoustic ballad before exploding into a harmony-driven chorus and climaxing with an organ solo and a full gospel choir--all to satisfyingly un-ironic effect. Though there’s plenty of grandeur to get lost in on this song, the central focus is Chris Owens’ wounded croon, which traverses the wash of sound like a lonely loser wandering the streets of Shibuya at night.
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Imagine Scott Weiland just ate about ten pot brownies coated in Vapo-Rub and you have an idea of Noaa Rienecker, the tongue-wobbling frontman for South Bay “skunge” band Monstrauss. Rienecker’s voice and delivery would be enough to distinguish any song, but in combination with the group’s bizarre combination of reggae riddims and grunge guitars (think about that!), this makes for a truly odd offering. It’s a risky formula that, in other artists’ hands, could lead to some serious cheese. Luckily, Monstrauss have enough idiosyncrasies to render the fusion startlingly effective.