Care Bears on Fire/Sleigh Bells
Brooklyn Goils Express Themselves
Care Bears on Fire: Girls Like It Loud (S-Curve download)
Brooklyn 15-year-old Sophie and her BFF Izzy have had a band since fifth grade and were profiled cute in New York magazine in 2006. They still have plenty of time for premature burnout. But kids can be so gratifying sometimes, and this EP is all about progress. Fountains of Wayne-aided and Donnas-influenced, their mildly enjoyable 2009 full-length was bratty-dreaming-slutty, its assorted putdowns less punk than they thought. Here Sophie permits herself enough introspective vulnerability and messy yearning to tug a dad's heart: "What I Could Be" ("You can't understand what it's like being shy") and "Ask Me How I Am" ("Satisfied and OK," only she's fronting to be polite). After that she's freed up to bet her probably excessive allowance on a putdown called "ATM." She also covers a Marbles song about star dreams I never noticed at CB's and doubt her mom is old enough to have heard in the flesh. The Tears for Fears song she may have. A
Sleigh Bells: Treats (Mom + Pop)
Exploiting a simple yet extreme-seeming variation on indie's noize-toon dichotomy, a made-to-order thrill-of-the-whatever band crosses the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Derek Miller's orchestrated distortions combine the crudeness of the Reid brothers and the virtuosity of Nick Zinner while Alexis-not-Alison Krauss plays the female principle for a childlike sweetness belied by what lyrics you can make out, which suggest in toto that what little human contact this band makes room for will have to wait until such time as sonic immersion fails to satisfy their spiritual yearnings. Their most charming song by far is the straight George Clinton rip "Rill Rill," which leaves open the question of what they can do for an encore. I'll grant that minimalist bands always leave that question open if you'll grant that too often the answer is repeat themselves. A MINUS
I love these girls dearly -- but I half wish they'd left "Red Lights" alone.
On a rather unrelated note, the year is coming to a close and that means the Pazz and Jop poll is near. Given your unique situation this year, I've been worrying that there may be no Dean's List. Of course, I have to ask: can we expect a Dean's List?
I strongly hope so. I look forward to your list every year, much more so than the compiled critic's list. If not, I'll live I'm sure. I'm just happy to have you back.
wow - twelve thumbs down..? It's almost a running joke now - I'm so proud..! :3 :p
*my first name:alex
Where I click-n-buy, the standard EP price of "Girls Like It Loud" includes three very rock-hearted videos from last year’s record. Nice.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.