Wargirl - Wargirl (Clouds Hill)

Wargirl – Wargirl (Clouds Hill)

With influences that include Phil Spector among others, it’s perhaps no surprise that the self-titled debut album from Long Beach, LA band Wargirl isn’t exactly the most straight-forward album to be released in recent years. However, that’s not entirely a bad thing and instead, the collection highlights just how versatile the group are, and as their fan-base continues to grow, delivers a little something for pretty much everyone.

Recent single ‘Poison’ makes for a strong start, and will most certainly go down well with those music fans who like their tunes to have a post-punk style edge, something quite rare on the scene these days. There’s a haunting, somewhat broody edge to the track too, that comes via vocalist Samantha Park and her ability to switch things up from a moody grumble/moan to almost upbeat shrill in a matter of moments.

The instrumentation is perhaps the highlight of ‘Sass Girl’, and as the title suggests, the track is full of confidence and energy, bringing with it a real sense of belonging, as if the band knew when they wrote it that it would always make the album. Harking back to the 70’s era once more, ‘Mess Around’ is maybe the one track that might find itself looked over, although it’s by no means bad – it just lacks the power and pizazz of the songs that have come before it. Having recorded part of the album in Costa Rica, it’s then of little surprise to find the reggae heavy, afro-beat led ‘Voice Of The Mountain’ paying a homage of sorts to the time they spent there.

While the first part of the album is, for the most part, upbeat and ‘optimistic’, both lyrically and musically, by the time the second half comes around, there’s a definite, almost inescapable switch and instead the tone of the collection becomes more muted, darker and edgier. Given the difficult, complicated and uncertain times we as a society are currently experiencing, the lyric “we are in for stormy weather” featured in ‘Streets’ is certainly relevant and the whole piece itself brims with a certain kind of cynicism regarding the future and our place in the world.

If there is one song on the album that truly stands out, it’s ‘How You Feel’, the bassline and brass instrumentation of which blend to create a sound and a track that many listeners might find themselves imagining the likes of Amy Winehouse – the first name that came to my mind – singing, then as the album reaches its final stages, the tone shifts slightly once more, sending the listener, via tracks ‘I Know I’ and closer ‘Make Believe’, into an almost semi dream-like state, created by perfectly layered and pieced together instrumentation.

Wargirl is out now on Clouds Hill.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.