Girls Against Boys - Freak*On*Ica

This is my second stab at reviewing this album. Why? Thanks for asking, I’ll tell you. First time was after I’d listened to it a few times. I was disappointed. It was good, but it didn’t have that extra something that I was looking for. I guess in my estimation, it just wasn’t living up to Venus Luxure No1 Baby, and House of GVsB, which are my two favourite albums. The use of the double bass just wasn’t as glorious as on those albums, and some of the songs just weren’t getting to me as much. These are the words I wrote, whether you’re interested or not....

I’ve been expecting a lot of this album, and well, ultimately it’s not delivering the full on mode that I wanted. It’s another good GVsB album. And I wanted great, yearrrgh, woooooo. Y’know. The sort where when you look down, you realise you’re nine foot in the air.

That was then. This is now. It’s only a few short weeks later, unless you live on a different planet, and now the songs are truly begining to embed themselves within the head. There’s still an element of the album loosing steam towards the end, maybe it’s one or two tracks too long, but, I’m gradually falling in love with this in the way I’d hoped.

Those elements, at least the double bass, is still nagging at me, but I think it’s just a little more the production hiding it. But songs like Avenue Park, One Firecracker, Black Hole, Roxy etc are begining to set up a home in the head.

To be fair, one of my initial criticisms of the album still feels right. That there’s nothing actually totally new on here. Well, that’s not strictly true. there are some more samples, and there is an element of a new sound being integrated, but, at the end of the day, GVsB have their own sound so well marked, so deeply ingrained, that it will always shine through. And when it’s this good, so what. Some bands, including bands that I like and respect, do sometimes do change merely for the sake of it. And that’s to be applauded. But it doesn’t mean to say that bands that don’t sway heavily from their line should be dismissed. If what they are doing is still good, still fresh and exciting each time, then that’s fair enough. At the end of the day, whether you go for wildly experimental change or not, it’s still a quality of songs that counts. GVsB have that in abundance.

And at least they’re another band that has signed to a major label and can’t be accused of selling out. Maybe sell out doesn’t actually belong to the bands after all. Maybe it’s just the elitist fan unhappy that they’re not doing EXACTLY what they want. If you know exactly what a band should do and sound like, form one yourself. Then send me the demo.

Now if only other bands would do “not their best” albums which are as good as this.