GIRLSFATHER, SON, HOLY GHOSTORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 12TH 20111YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #19"They sound like they’ll probably end up being one of the most enduring bands of our era." "A record that is both this good and a display of a band with so much more to show us does not come along often." These are just a few of the things said about Girls around the time of the release of their second record, Father, Son, Holy Ghost one year ago. In fact, nearly every positive review of the follow up to 2009’s brilliant Album mentioned longevity as the key to their future success. Christopher Owens announced in July this year that he was leaving Girls to pursue other projects in order for him to progress. The band’s future is still unclear and whether Owens will return or be replaced remains a mystery. Girls’ projected longevity now looks a little short-lived given that this leaves only Chet “J.R.” White (the other half) as a remaining member. Replacing Owens seems like the most logical progression, yet even at this early stage it looks doubtful as whether this will actually be the case.
Perhaps the only good thing to have resulted from Owens’ departure is how fascinating Father, Son, Holy Ghost has become in the year since its release. It proudly wears its influences on its sleeve yet coheres them into a style that is decidedly and uniquely Girls’, and it’s this element of mining classic rock from the 60s and 70s that affords the record a timeless quality. Short lived bands who never quite make it beyond two or three records before imploding are (if they’re worth their salt) instantly placed within a context. Girls were never quite popular enough to be remembered by the masses but they will be remembered for a long time by a select few, partly for Album but mostly for Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Part of that is just down to brilliant song craft, but those elements of classic rock which make up so much of why this record is a joy to listen to over and over again is central to why it will be remembered years down the line. Those influences remain very strong throughout, yet there was never a sense of Owens apologising for the overtly retro sound he had accumulated. That’s because Father, Son, Holy Ghost sounds absolutely brilliant and because, whilst it evokes so much of that classic rock sound, it still sounds like an original work in itself that has slipped out of a time loop somewhere and could very easily slip back to that time without anyone noticing.Owens clearly knows a lot about the history of rock and roll but it’s a history that he absorbed in a relatively short and recent period of time following his fall out at the age of 16 from the Children Of God cult that he was born into in Slovenia. Moving to Texas and later, San Francisco, where he met White, Owens’ ravenous consumption of rock and punk is perhaps the clearest indicator as to Father, Son, Holy Ghost's unabashed influences. It becomes tempting to try and spot these influences, to put a finger on what it actually reminds you of, but it's an activity that eventually proves fruitless. Instead it's just worth noting the hallmark instruments of such great classic rock, from acoustic and prog guitar, organ, flute and big, soulful backing vocals that often feel as though they're appearing by chance to further heighten the ambitious nature of some pretty awesome solos. The vocals closing out Vomit are particularly rousing and evoke The Great Gig In The Sky without the atmosphere, but I’m drawn more to the Floyd-esque solo that rounds out Die. With an intro that recalls Deep Purple or Zeppelin, it soon shifts into a prog-heavy solo that’s equally striking and tender. Solos are perhaps what this record excels in above all else, and there’s plenty to go around. My Ma kick-starts the record’s boisterous mid-section of wonderfully overblown guitar theatrics and tender, lovelorn vocals. The aforementioned Vomit manages to scan as ominous and despondent with its panoramic garage rock fuzz whilst Love Like A River is hopelessly romantic with a wonderful solo and rising backing vocals that recall Spiritualized. Perhaps it’s true that, as well as evoking the classic rock of forty years ago, Girls also successfully paid homage to more recent bands who took a similar influence.The key to Father, Son, Holy Ghost's alarming level of intimacy is ultimately through Owens' vocals. His voice rarely rises beyond a contemplative quiver and are both softer and more encouraging than those on Album. So whether it’s hearing him wax lyrical about Alex on the buoyant track of the same name or reveal truths about a failing relationship on Jamie Marie, he’s invested in expressing two opposite moods through the same tone. With no prior knowledge or understand of the lyrics, it would be difficult to gauge whether Owens is happy or sad, innocent or restless, naive or world-weary. Opening track Honey Bunny feels like a rousing crowd pleaser, packing a lot into its two and a half minutes of smooth surf-rock and Beach Boys melodies. Magic pulls off a similar trick, a wonderful ditty that conveys the purest of sun-drenched 60s pop melodies with a circular, maypole-like chorus that could extend way beyond its three minutes. Elsewhere, Saying I Love You is a great soft-rock number that recalls Eagles or Fleetwood Mac with a chorus that complements the sparse guitar work rather efficiently.Comparisons to Elliott Smith are certainly not without their merit and whilst I’m pretty sure Belle And Sebastian aren’t one of Owens’ primary influences, there nevertheless remains an aspect of Stuart Murdoch’s earnestness somewhere within. I’m aware that B&S are Scottish, yet I can’t help but feel like many of these songs sound very much like English folk music in nature. Owens’ fragile vocals tie all these songs together as they slide up and down varying extremes of rock’s history ladder. How deftly Girls manage to traverse these variations without sounding the slightest bit contrived is the most breathtaking thing about Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Many people would disagree, and this is a record that remains wholly divisive because of the very nature of its sound. Whilst the future of Girls remains uncertain, it would be maybe best if the entire project was killed off. Continuing Girls without Owens would be worrisome and Father, Son, Holy Ghost has already proven itself to be a stunning swan-song to their prolific yet brief time in the spotlight. Somehow, regardless of the outcome, something tells me we’ve not yet heard the last of Christopher Owens.

GIRLS
FATHER, SON, HOLY GHOST

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 12TH 2011
1YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #19


"They sound like they’ll probably end up being one of the most enduring bands of our era." "A record that is both this good and a display of a band with so much more to show us does not come along often." These are just a few of the things said about Girls around the time of the release of their second record, Father, Son, Holy Ghost one year ago. In fact, nearly every positive review of the follow up to 2009’s brilliant Album mentioned longevity as the key to their future success. Christopher Owens announced in July this year that he was leaving Girls to pursue other projects in order for him to progress. The band’s future is still unclear and whether Owens will return or be replaced remains a mystery. Girls’ projected longevity now looks a little short-lived given that this leaves only Chet “J.R.” White (the other half) as a remaining member. Replacing Owens seems like the most logical progression, yet even at this early stage it looks doubtful as whether this will actually be the case.



Perhaps the only good thing to have resulted from Owens’ departure is how fascinating Father, Son, Holy Ghost has become in the year since its release. It proudly wears its influences on its sleeve yet coheres them into a style that is decidedly and uniquely Girls’, and it’s this element of mining classic rock from the 60s and 70s that affords the record a timeless quality. Short lived bands who never quite make it beyond two or three records before imploding are (if they’re worth their salt) instantly placed within a context. Girls were never quite popular enough to be remembered by the masses but they will be remembered for a long time by a select few, partly for Album but mostly for Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Part of that is just down to brilliant song craft, but those elements of classic rock which make up so much of why this record is a joy to listen to over and over again is central to why it will be remembered years down the line. Those influences remain very strong throughout, yet there was never a sense of Owens apologising for the overtly retro sound he had accumulated. That’s because Father, Son, Holy Ghost sounds absolutely brilliant and because, whilst it evokes so much of that classic rock sound, it still sounds like an original work in itself that has slipped out of a time loop somewhere and could very easily slip back to that time without anyone noticing.


Owens clearly knows a lot about the history of rock and roll but it’s a history that he absorbed in a relatively short and recent period of time following his fall out at the age of 16 from the Children Of God cult that he was born into in Slovenia. Moving to Texas and later, San Francisco, where he met White, Owens’ ravenous consumption of rock and punk is perhaps the clearest indicator as to Father, Son, Holy Ghost's unabashed influences. It becomes tempting to try and spot these influences, to put a finger on what it actually reminds you of, but it's an activity that eventually proves fruitless. Instead it's just worth noting the hallmark instruments of such great classic rock, from acoustic and prog guitar, organ, flute and big, soulful backing vocals that often feel as though they're appearing by chance to further heighten the ambitious nature of some pretty awesome solos. The vocals closing out Vomit are particularly rousing and evoke The Great Gig In The Sky without the atmosphere, but I’m drawn more to the Floyd-esque solo that rounds out Die. With an intro that recalls Deep Purple or Zeppelin, it soon shifts into a prog-heavy solo that’s equally striking and tender. Solos are perhaps what this record excels in above all else, and there’s plenty to go around. My Ma kick-starts the record’s boisterous mid-section of wonderfully overblown guitar theatrics and tender, lovelorn vocals. The aforementioned Vomit manages to scan as ominous and despondent with its panoramic garage rock fuzz whilst Love Like A River is hopelessly romantic with a wonderful solo and rising backing vocals that recall Spiritualized. Perhaps it’s true that, as well as evoking the classic rock of forty years ago, Girls also successfully paid homage to more recent bands who took a similar influence.


The key to Father, Son, Holy Ghost's alarming level of intimacy is ultimately through Owens' vocals. His voice rarely rises beyond a contemplative quiver and are both softer and more encouraging than those on Album. So whether it’s hearing him wax lyrical about Alex on the buoyant track of the same name or reveal truths about a failing relationship on Jamie Marie, he’s invested in expressing two opposite moods through the same tone. With no prior knowledge or understand of the lyrics, it would be difficult to gauge whether Owens is happy or sad, innocent or restless, naive or world-weary. Opening track Honey Bunny feels like a rousing crowd pleaser, packing a lot into its two and a half minutes of smooth surf-rock and Beach Boys melodies. Magic pulls off a similar trick, a wonderful ditty that conveys the purest of sun-drenched 60s pop melodies with a circular, maypole-like chorus that could extend way beyond its three minutes. Elsewhere, Saying I Love You is a great soft-rock number that recalls Eagles or Fleetwood Mac with a chorus that complements the sparse guitar work rather efficiently.


Comparisons to Elliott Smith are certainly not without their merit and whilst I’m pretty sure Belle And Sebastian aren’t one of Owens’ primary influences, there nevertheless remains an aspect of Stuart Murdoch’s earnestness somewhere within. I’m aware that B&S are Scottish, yet I can’t help but feel like many of these songs sound very much like English folk music in nature. Owens’ fragile vocals tie all these songs together as they slide up and down varying extremes of rock’s history ladder. How deftly Girls manage to traverse these variations without sounding the slightest bit contrived is the most breathtaking thing about Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Many people would disagree, and this is a record that remains wholly divisive because of the very nature of its sound. Whilst the future of Girls remains uncertain, it would be maybe best if the entire project was killed off. Continuing Girls without Owens would be worrisome and Father, Son, Holy Ghost has already proven itself to be a stunning swan-song to their prolific yet brief time in the spotlight. Somehow, regardless of the outcome, something tells me we’ve not yet heard the last of Christopher Owens.

GIRLSFATHER, SON, HOLY GHOSTORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 12TH 20111YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #19"They sound like they’ll probably end up being one of the most enduring bands of our era." "A record that is both this good and a display of a band with so much more to show us does not come along often." These are just a few of the things said about Girls around the time of the release of their second record, Father, Son, Holy Ghost one year ago. In fact, nearly every positive review of the follow up to 2009’s brilliant Album mentioned longevity as the key to their future success. Christopher Owens announced in July this year that he was leaving Girls to pursue other projects in order for him to progress. The band’s future is still unclear and whether Owens will return or be replaced remains a mystery. Girls’ projected longevity now looks a little short-lived given that this leaves only Chet “J.R.” White (the other half) as a remaining member. Replacing Owens seems like the most logical progression, yet even at this early stage it looks doubtful as whether this will actually be the case.
Perhaps the only good thing to have resulted from Owens’ departure is how fascinating Father, Son, Holy Ghost has become in the year since its release. It proudly wears its influences on its sleeve yet coheres them into a style that is decidedly and uniquely Girls’, and it’s this element of mining classic rock from the 60s and 70s that affords the record a timeless quality. Short lived bands who never quite make it beyond two or three records before imploding are (if they’re worth their salt) instantly placed within a context. Girls were never quite popular enough to be remembered by the masses but they will be remembered for a long time by a select few, partly for Album but mostly for Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Part of that is just down to brilliant song craft, but those elements of classic rock which make up so much of why this record is a joy to listen to over and over again is central to why it will be remembered years down the line. Those influences remain very strong throughout, yet there was never a sense of Owens apologising for the overtly retro sound he had accumulated. That’s because Father, Son, Holy Ghost sounds absolutely brilliant and because, whilst it evokes so much of that classic rock sound, it still sounds like an original work in itself that has slipped out of a time loop somewhere and could very easily slip back to that time without anyone noticing.Owens clearly knows a lot about the history of rock and roll but it’s a history that he absorbed in a relatively short and recent period of time following his fall out at the age of 16 from the Children Of God cult that he was born into in Slovenia. Moving to Texas and later, San Francisco, where he met White, Owens’ ravenous consumption of rock and punk is perhaps the clearest indicator as to Father, Son, Holy Ghost's unabashed influences. It becomes tempting to try and spot these influences, to put a finger on what it actually reminds you of, but it's an activity that eventually proves fruitless. Instead it's just worth noting the hallmark instruments of such great classic rock, from acoustic and prog guitar, organ, flute and big, soulful backing vocals that often feel as though they're appearing by chance to further heighten the ambitious nature of some pretty awesome solos. The vocals closing out Vomit are particularly rousing and evoke The Great Gig In The Sky without the atmosphere, but I’m drawn more to the Floyd-esque solo that rounds out Die. With an intro that recalls Deep Purple or Zeppelin, it soon shifts into a prog-heavy solo that’s equally striking and tender. Solos are perhaps what this record excels in above all else, and there’s plenty to go around. My Ma kick-starts the record’s boisterous mid-section of wonderfully overblown guitar theatrics and tender, lovelorn vocals. The aforementioned Vomit manages to scan as ominous and despondent with its panoramic garage rock fuzz whilst Love Like A River is hopelessly romantic with a wonderful solo and rising backing vocals that recall Spiritualized. Perhaps it’s true that, as well as evoking the classic rock of forty years ago, Girls also successfully paid homage to more recent bands who took a similar influence.The key to Father, Son, Holy Ghost's alarming level of intimacy is ultimately through Owens' vocals. His voice rarely rises beyond a contemplative quiver and are both softer and more encouraging than those on Album. So whether it’s hearing him wax lyrical about Alex on the buoyant track of the same name or reveal truths about a failing relationship on Jamie Marie, he’s invested in expressing two opposite moods through the same tone. With no prior knowledge or understand of the lyrics, it would be difficult to gauge whether Owens is happy or sad, innocent or restless, naive or world-weary. Opening track Honey Bunny feels like a rousing crowd pleaser, packing a lot into its two and a half minutes of smooth surf-rock and Beach Boys melodies. Magic pulls off a similar trick, a wonderful ditty that conveys the purest of sun-drenched 60s pop melodies with a circular, maypole-like chorus that could extend way beyond its three minutes. Elsewhere, Saying I Love You is a great soft-rock number that recalls Eagles or Fleetwood Mac with a chorus that complements the sparse guitar work rather efficiently.Comparisons to Elliott Smith are certainly not without their merit and whilst I’m pretty sure Belle And Sebastian aren’t one of Owens’ primary influences, there nevertheless remains an aspect of Stuart Murdoch’s earnestness somewhere within. I’m aware that B&S are Scottish, yet I can’t help but feel like many of these songs sound very much like English folk music in nature. Owens’ fragile vocals tie all these songs together as they slide up and down varying extremes of rock’s history ladder. How deftly Girls manage to traverse these variations without sounding the slightest bit contrived is the most breathtaking thing about Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Many people would disagree, and this is a record that remains wholly divisive because of the very nature of its sound. Whilst the future of Girls remains uncertain, it would be maybe best if the entire project was killed off. Continuing Girls without Owens would be worrisome and Father, Son, Holy Ghost has already proven itself to be a stunning swan-song to their prolific yet brief time in the spotlight. Somehow, regardless of the outcome, something tells me we’ve not yet heard the last of Christopher Owens.

GIRLS
FATHER, SON, HOLY GHOST

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 12TH 2011
1YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #19


"They sound like they’ll probably end up being one of the most enduring bands of our era." "A record that is both this good and a display of a band with so much more to show us does not come along often." These are just a few of the things said about Girls around the time of the release of their second record, Father, Son, Holy Ghost one year ago. In fact, nearly every positive review of the follow up to 2009’s brilliant Album mentioned longevity as the key to their future success. Christopher Owens announced in July this year that he was leaving Girls to pursue other projects in order for him to progress. The band’s future is still unclear and whether Owens will return or be replaced remains a mystery. Girls’ projected longevity now looks a little short-lived given that this leaves only Chet “J.R.” White (the other half) as a remaining member. Replacing Owens seems like the most logical progression, yet even at this early stage it looks doubtful as whether this will actually be the case.



Perhaps the only good thing to have resulted from Owens’ departure is how fascinating Father, Son, Holy Ghost has become in the year since its release. It proudly wears its influences on its sleeve yet coheres them into a style that is decidedly and uniquely Girls’, and it’s this element of mining classic rock from the 60s and 70s that affords the record a timeless quality. Short lived bands who never quite make it beyond two or three records before imploding are (if they’re worth their salt) instantly placed within a context. Girls were never quite popular enough to be remembered by the masses but they will be remembered for a long time by a select few, partly for Album but mostly for Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Part of that is just down to brilliant song craft, but those elements of classic rock which make up so much of why this record is a joy to listen to over and over again is central to why it will be remembered years down the line. Those influences remain very strong throughout, yet there was never a sense of Owens apologising for the overtly retro sound he had accumulated. That’s because Father, Son, Holy Ghost sounds absolutely brilliant and because, whilst it evokes so much of that classic rock sound, it still sounds like an original work in itself that has slipped out of a time loop somewhere and could very easily slip back to that time without anyone noticing.


Owens clearly knows a lot about the history of rock and roll but it’s a history that he absorbed in a relatively short and recent period of time following his fall out at the age of 16 from the Children Of God cult that he was born into in Slovenia. Moving to Texas and later, San Francisco, where he met White, Owens’ ravenous consumption of rock and punk is perhaps the clearest indicator as to Father, Son, Holy Ghost's unabashed influences. It becomes tempting to try and spot these influences, to put a finger on what it actually reminds you of, but it's an activity that eventually proves fruitless. Instead it's just worth noting the hallmark instruments of such great classic rock, from acoustic and prog guitar, organ, flute and big, soulful backing vocals that often feel as though they're appearing by chance to further heighten the ambitious nature of some pretty awesome solos. The vocals closing out Vomit are particularly rousing and evoke The Great Gig In The Sky without the atmosphere, but I’m drawn more to the Floyd-esque solo that rounds out Die. With an intro that recalls Deep Purple or Zeppelin, it soon shifts into a prog-heavy solo that’s equally striking and tender. Solos are perhaps what this record excels in above all else, and there’s plenty to go around. My Ma kick-starts the record’s boisterous mid-section of wonderfully overblown guitar theatrics and tender, lovelorn vocals. The aforementioned Vomit manages to scan as ominous and despondent with its panoramic garage rock fuzz whilst Love Like A River is hopelessly romantic with a wonderful solo and rising backing vocals that recall Spiritualized. Perhaps it’s true that, as well as evoking the classic rock of forty years ago, Girls also successfully paid homage to more recent bands who took a similar influence.


The key to Father, Son, Holy Ghost's alarming level of intimacy is ultimately through Owens' vocals. His voice rarely rises beyond a contemplative quiver and are both softer and more encouraging than those on Album. So whether it’s hearing him wax lyrical about Alex on the buoyant track of the same name or reveal truths about a failing relationship on Jamie Marie, he’s invested in expressing two opposite moods through the same tone. With no prior knowledge or understand of the lyrics, it would be difficult to gauge whether Owens is happy or sad, innocent or restless, naive or world-weary. Opening track Honey Bunny feels like a rousing crowd pleaser, packing a lot into its two and a half minutes of smooth surf-rock and Beach Boys melodies. Magic pulls off a similar trick, a wonderful ditty that conveys the purest of sun-drenched 60s pop melodies with a circular, maypole-like chorus that could extend way beyond its three minutes. Elsewhere, Saying I Love You is a great soft-rock number that recalls Eagles or Fleetwood Mac with a chorus that complements the sparse guitar work rather efficiently.


Comparisons to Elliott Smith are certainly not without their merit and whilst I’m pretty sure Belle And Sebastian aren’t one of Owens’ primary influences, there nevertheless remains an aspect of Stuart Murdoch’s earnestness somewhere within. I’m aware that B&S are Scottish, yet I can’t help but feel like many of these songs sound very much like English folk music in nature. Owens’ fragile vocals tie all these songs together as they slide up and down varying extremes of rock’s history ladder. How deftly Girls manage to traverse these variations without sounding the slightest bit contrived is the most breathtaking thing about Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Many people would disagree, and this is a record that remains wholly divisive because of the very nature of its sound. Whilst the future of Girls remains uncertain, it would be maybe best if the entire project was killed off. Continuing Girls without Owens would be worrisome and Father, Son, Holy Ghost has already proven itself to be a stunning swan-song to their prolific yet brief time in the spotlight. Somehow, regardless of the outcome, something tells me we’ve not yet heard the last of Christopher Owens.

About:

1YRON aims to shine the spotlight on albums exactly one year after their release. Presented as an alternative to writing about them instantaneously, I hope to recall the album in question with a fondness of time having passed. Perhaps you may even be inspired to go back and discover something new.

Since physical and digital release dates often vary worldwide (the US commonly a day after the UK for example, or for smaller releases, sometimes weeks or months apart), these reviews will only be published on their UK or US physical release date (whichever comes first).

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