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Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Girls Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Released 9 September 2011
Producer(s) Girls, Doug Boehm
Label Fantasytrashcan, Turnstile
Length 52:35
Genre Alternative
Website myspace.com/girls
58

Father, Son, Holy Ghost is the second album from San Francisco indie band Girls –which consists mainly of duo Christopher Owens and Chet White– backed by a host of other musicians. It’s hard to pin down exactly what Girls sound like as a band, as Father, Son, Holy Ghost moves through a vast range of genres and influences, and most of what is actually good about them is not so subtly borrowed from elsewhere. Influences include everyone from The Beach Boys and The Beatles to Muse and Radiohead, and the vast range of varied sounds on display here don’t always work or fit very well together. Individually there are great moments, but overall the album doesn’t really work as a whole.

The best thing about Father, Son, Holy Ghost are the two tracks 'Die' and 'Vomit'. The titles may seem a bit rough around the edges, but they are actually beautifully crafted pieces of indie rock. 'Die' comes on fast and hard, with a sizzling guitar riff that sounds more than a little bit like Muse’s 'Knights of Cydonia'. Like 'Knights of Cydonia' its real strength comes from a barrage of pure sound, and the long wailing solos are extremely enjoyable, if a little unoriginal. 'Vomit' is a slower, spookier, slightly haunting track, with tender moments well mixed with frenzied instrumental breakdowns. While it is somewhat reminiscent of Pink Floyd, it is still probably the nearest Girls come on this album to a defining sound which is unique to them.

Unfortunately the rest of the track on the album fails to have the same impact. The mix of upbeat, guitar driven rock songs and moody acoustic tracks are all pleasant enough, but don’t stand out as anything worth remembering.

Father, Son, Holy Ghost is a bit of a strange album, in that I absolutely loved two tracks in particular, but was extremely underwhelmed by the rest of the album. Pretty much every song apart from 'Vomit' and 'Die' fail to leave a lasting impression, mainly because they don’t add anything to the music they are so clearly influenced by. If Father, Son, Holy Ghost had a couple more songs with the greatness that Girls have shown the potential for it would be excellent. As it is it is mediocre. Essentially it is two really good songs nestled alongside several unexceptional songs and maybe also one or two bad ones.

- Bernard O’Rourke