Grass Widow – Internal Logic

Grass Widow is a cool band! Yes, I just used an exclamation point. This San Francisco-based threesome –Hannah Lew, Raven Mahon and Lillian Maring- write simple garage rock songs that groove and bounce. Can you imagine a less glossy Lush coupled with a more serious Dead Milkmen, blended with some early Cure? This is Grass Widow.

Internal Logic, the band’s third release, is a serious pop album. But it’s not without its flaws. With the opening track, “Goldilocks Zone,” there is familiar feel that pulls the listener into the album. The harmonies that eventually give way to a chunky bass line and a Sebadoh-ish “Sixteen” spastic yet controlled guitar riff sets a mood that carries throughout most of the album. “A Light in the Static” is an unnecessary acoustic Sabbath “Laguna Sunrise” moment that just doesn’t fit. It just slows the ladies down. But, I would like to see the ladies explore this acoustic aspect in their future releases, because Grass Widow’s releases are beginning to run together in some formulaic fog. Also, The piano outro “Response to Photographers” should’ve been expanded upon or simply left off of the album; it kills the balance of the record. The ladies obviously have a real talent and ability to write intriguing, genre-bending songs. There just seems to be a musical hurdle that can’t quite overcome.

The fact that each band member takes on the singing duties is an attractive and tangible quality that gives their songs depth. I like the collective, musical Marxist feel of the group. At this point, I’m not sure I really care what the ladies are singing about, nor do I wonder what kind of narrative they’re trying to push, but their lyrics fit within the confines of their sound.

It’s refreshing to see three women in an indie rock group that don’t feel the need to adopt a Riot Girl aesthetic. Grass Widow is more intelligent than this. Internal Logic is a turning point for this garage rock trio; it is a solid and likable album that should push the ladies further in their career. It’s the kind of album one could build memories around. Needless to say, I’m just as excited about this album as I am with their future releases.

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May 31, 2012. Albums.

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