[first listen] Girlfriends release four new demos as "Nothing Nice To Say"

Because we’ll do anything to sate the vicious buzz cycle, here we submit a hastily assessed, hardly considered review of GIRLFRIENDS new pile of demos, Nothing Nice To Say -- which were released online yesterday -- for your quick digestion, shot straight to the ether. These four will eventually comprise part of a full-length record, due out sometime in 2012. 

Track 1: “Big Machines”

The record opens with a wayside, interstate grandeur, the type of late-afternoon haze found on a Galaxie 500 record. A handful of trebly guitar chords, a warbly bass line and airy, down-mixed vocals. The melody flits in and out before dropping into a gut-synching resolution, a streamlined R.E.M.-styled chorus that is so infectious it hurts. Singer Ben Potrykus kills as Michael Stipe and really, he should do more of it. “Big Machines” falls into a noisy bridge, all screeching feedback, before a single sustained note brings us back to that same, beautiful chorus. Ah.

Track 2: “Brat Poison”

But ya know what, I was wrong. Fuck those chill vibes. “Brat Poison” is all angles and late '80s SoCal punk and presents such a disconnect from the previous four minutes that I’m not sure if I’m listening to the same record. A bass distorted beyond recognition carries Potrykus’ sing-speak as he rips, rants and raves about the Northeast scene. And then, a handful of guitar chords enter like they were dusted off from the remnants of a Slint record. This song hits hard and ends, with hooks just the right sort of memorable as to leave me wanting more. "New England's dreaming," Potrykus sneers. 

Track 3: “Boys To Men”

“Boys To Men” presents the laid-back basement-pop that I’ve come to associate with Girlfriends. It’s fast, punchy and catchy. And in what has been a tense seven minutes, this track smooths out the vibe and leads us into...

Track 4: “Leave It ‘Til You Need It”

...Prom? Well maybe not prom, but some sort of ballroom social held in the late '60s. Everyone’s all prim and proper, swaying oh-so-sweetly with the apple of their eye. Perfect teeth, beaming smiles, you know. The track has the ragged-guitar shuffle of formal-attire adorned with patches and drummer Andy Sadoway sings as he laments a love lost, or maybe not found. Or maybe he just doesn't care.

And in roughly two listens and a bottle of Pretty Things, we're feeling pretty good about Girlfriends’s Nothing Nice To Say. Twelve minutes, four songs, a record as smart as it is self-aware. It’s not too long, just check it out.

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