I do wonder sometimes if bands/labels etc. deliberately schedule releases for certain times of the year. It's glaringly obvious on occasions that particular releases just fit in with a season or period of the year and this debut single from Chicago, IL's Earth Girls is one of those that gives me cause to consider that my theory actually has some veracity. The four songs featured on this 7–inch just scream out spring and summer to me, such is the light and breezy quality they all contain and which must be considered as the signature sound of the band .
Earth Girls are made up of current/former members of bands such as Broken Prayer, Boilerman, Libyans and Daylight Robbery so the end result of this trio recording together could have gone in many ways but they settled on an approach that takes me back to the bands that were collected together under the C86 tag by the "New Musical Express" back in the 1980s. To narrow it down further, for me Earth Girls summon up the spirit of the Shop Assistants with a fresh and invigorating feel to songs that have all combined the right catchy elements to make them instantly memorable and ultimately unforgettable: although the sound is probably closer to being defined these days as garage power–pop than pure indie music.
It's the opening riff of "Unavailable" that connects with me straight away – it's brief and to the point, with a guitar sound that is both jangly and scratchy at the same time. When Liz Panella adds her voice to her guitar work, and Joey Kappel and Jeff Rice open up their spirited and adventurous rhythm section, there's not much left for me to do other than fall in love with the songs much as Lord Alfred Tennyson would have predicted given the current season. Ok, I might be pushing it a bit to even consider myself a "young man" but music like this is there to be loved and age should not provide a barrier to such devotion. The other great thing about "Unavailable" is how Panella's guitar adds the briefest but hugely effective leads that get caught in my head and which I look forward to on each subsequent play of the track. In fact it's those modest flourishes on guitar that help all the tracks take on a vibrant and luxurious feel – less is definitely more in this case.
"Wrong Side of History" cements my devotion to this band and Earth Girls use all of the skills in their arsenal to once again deliver tuneage that is up there with some of the best power–pop bands from Canada and Texas. I also think they're the American equivalent to the UK's Muncie Girls in the effect they have on me and that is probably the highest praise I can give them.
"Drag It Out" wastes no time with such frivolities as an introduction and descends instantly into 108 seconds of sheer joy as Earth Girls race along as a fair clip using their tried and tested formula to excellent effect. The song ends as abruptly as it starts and allows the more sedately paced "Who We've Never Met" to bring the record to a conclusion and it's quite clear that this single is likely to be my favourite of 2014 as things currently stand.
If you need me anytime soon, I'll be lying flat out in a field, staring blissfully at a warm blue sky, grinning like a Cheshire Cat as I listen to the Earth Girls playing over and over and over. In the autumn (fall to my American cousins) and winter you'll find me sat in an easy chair with an alcoholic beverage enjoying the Earth Girls over and over – it's actually a record for all seasons.