(Photo Credit - Al Kalyk)
Advance Review - Girl Friday: Androgynous Mary (August 21, 2020) via Hardly Art
Sarah Walk, EOB, Logic, LCD Soundsystem, Kllo, Ohmme, and now Girl Friday. That’s the list of my last seven reviews. Throw in Alex Cameron Miami Memory (which I still say you need to listen to), Greta Van Fleet, Cross Record, Mudhoney, and The Brook, and you have yourself an eclectic shelf of music that would rarely make the same playlist. But that is the opportunity of writing for AltRevue.
I was given Androgynous Mary in March. Yes, March. So, when Michael sent out a message that said he needed someone to review the new Girl Friday album, I remembered the name but could not remember how. I searched my Groove Music files, which I use to listen to the albums I download for review, yet it was not there. Then I looked in my AltRevue Music folder. Nothing. My published reviews; my review notes. Not a trace. Finally, I saw it; a folder lost amongst the random collection that is my laptop desktop. Girl Friday, Androgynous Mary, March 11, 2020. Oops. A victim of Covid-19, but not a casualty. And now here we’re are. In August.
I remember listening to this album. It was after I reviewed Post Louis’s Descender, and I was going through another Post-Punk phase, so I was into it. From the first song and its intro. It reminded me of surfer rock and The Union in Athens, Ohio. However, “Amber’s Knees (A Matter of Concern),” was really when the album got my attention. Upbeat. Racing guitars and fluid rhythms. Then “Eaten Up,” which reminded me of Hole from the ‘90s.
One of my favorite elements to focus on while reviewing an album is the structure. Do the songs fit? Are they in a coherent order? Do they transition well enough to make me continue listening? I’ve said in other reviews that the art of album is lost on this generation’s audience. However, I’m still here, and I appreciate how “Eaten Thing” goes into “Public Bodies.” There is a dip in tempo and intensity. Until the 3:30 mark. Then it is back to the Girl Friday I love. However, I will say that it is in the calm moments that the skills of this band shine.
“What We Do It For” is a nice build for “Earthquake,” which is probably my favorite song off the album. “Clotting,” “Gold Stars,” and “Favorite Friends,” remind me of grunge, White Stripes, Live, and everything I love about the nineties. And “I hope Jason is happy,” the shortest song at 2:35, is a sweet way to end the album. “In the end, I’ll be happy if you do your best.”
Final Thoughts: Yes. I needed an album like this. It is the perfect mixture of nostalgia, post-punk pessimism, and uplifting we’re-all-part-of-this-shit-show togetherness.
Favorite Songs: “Earthquake,” “Gold Stars,” and “Favorite Friend.”
Rating - 4/5