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WARGIRL - 'WARGIRL' Album Review



2.Sass Girl

3.Mess Around

4.Voice Of The Mountain

5.No Difference


7.How You Feel

8.I Know I

9.Make Believe

10.Last Time

Hot on the heels of current single “Poison”, Long Beach’s WARGIRL have released their debut album. The band was put together by producer and erstwhile vintage sound equipment enthusiast Matt Wignall with the aim of reflecting the sound of Long Beach, which Wignall claims is the place that “Los Angeles is trying to be”, due to it’s eclectic make up.

The album opens with single “Poison” which has a Scissor Sisters kinda feel to some of the vocals. It’s a nice Pop tune, although it feels like it goes on a bit too long…I reckon it could have finished about 1:19 earlier without detracting from the song. They do say, in music folklore, that a lead single should set the tone for the album and “Poison” does herald a few overly (and unnecessarily?) long songs. Given the recording style, which Wignall describes as “we sit around in a circle like hippies, without headphones, look each other in the eyes and try to feel the music” it’s no surprise there’s some jamming but both “I Know I” and “Last Time” each have over 3 minutes of what feels like jamming, which is kind of over indulgent to me. Don’t get me wrong, the musicianship is excellent, and Wignall (guitars), Tamara Raye (bass), Enya Preston (keyboard) and percussionists Jeff Surl and Erick Diego Nieot all combine to produce outstanding music, it’s just that it feels they were a bit too “in the zone” at times…not so much navel gazing as, perhaps, f-hole gazing!

However, I don’t want to give the impression that this album is 38 minutes of the band showing off their musical prowess, the whole album is interwoven with the amazing vocals of Samantha Parks, who moves seamlessly from the Pop Punk intensity of “Sass Girl” to the sultry, almost Dusty-esque, tones we hear on “How You Feel”. There are some great songs here. “Sass Girl” sounds like a heady mix of Blondie and No Doubt, the up beat Funk of “No Difference” and, despite the 3 minutes of jamming, “I Know I” is pretty good too. Stand out tracks for me though were “Mess Around” and “How You Feel” which both have a gloriously sultry 60’s feel to them, with “How You Feel” in particular sounding like it could have been penned by Bacharach and David…it’s lush.

This is a good album, not great but far from terrible. Yes, there’s a bit too much musical “noodling” for my liking, but nothing that can’t be tamed with judicious use of the ‘skip’ button. I’m not sure I could recommend the full album but a visit to your music provider of choice to check out “How You Feel” and “Mess Around” is definitely advisable.

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Review - Chris Watson

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