The Dead Girls – Out of Earshot
Rocket Heart, 2010
Acquired: Cameron Left it On My Doorstep, New, 2010
The perks of being a rock chump is that your friends will leave records on your porch. And Dead Girls front man Cameron Hawk was generous enough to give me one of the limited edition copies on the orange vinyl! It's a gorgeous package, and as a fellow record geek and obsessive, I'm sure this is almost as exciting as opening for Kiss a few months back. Sonically, the Dead Girls sound like an amalgam of all the bands they cover. I've seen them do Thin Lizzy, which comes out on the sick guitar riffage in “Te Quiero,” and I've heard them do the Replacements, and here and there they sound like all over the place here and there. And then there's the Adventureband thing, where the guys covered all the songs from the Adventureland soundtrack that I sadly, sadly missed. I don't know if they played Big Star's “I'm in Love With a Girl,” but opener “Later” and “She Can Turn it On” are reminiscent of the late great Alex Chilton. There's a little Teenage Fanclub and Husker Du thrown in for good measure, and then there's of course the Ultimate Fakebook connection, which I don't really see other than A.) It's wicked good power pop and B.) It's music I loved/would have loved in high school. And no, that's not to belittle the Dead Girls debut LP, because that's the shit I still love today. Honestly, I'll take wicked good power pop any day over whatever hip indie-rock experimental electro dance music is hip. It's like teaching an old dog new tricks...you um, can't do it.
One of my favorite things about this record is that it sounds like the band made exactly the record they wanted to make. The production is crisp and clean, in stark defiance of the neo-lo-fi revolution sweeping the underground and, notably, the local music scene. And I won't lie, I prefer my jams with a little distorted with plenty of fuzz, but shit, most bands just do that because they can't afford to go into the studio. And this is a good start! My only quibble is that it sounds like they've been spending too much time playing as tribute bands and not enough time working on their own sound. But they're all incredibly capable musicians, so I'm sure coming out of the cocoon of influence won't be too hard. And it doesn't matter too much, because this is a pretty damn enjoyable pop record.