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Not Ur Girlfrenz - 'New Kids In America' EP Review


1. Warped

2. No One Asked You Anyway

3. New Kids In America

4. Somehow

5. Friends Or Memories

Texan trio Not Ur Girlfrenz released their debut EP “New Kids In America” late last year. The band comes with some notable backing, namely Jaret Reddick of Bowling For Soup, and toured not only with the Soups, but also scored a slot on the final cross country US Vans Warped Tour. Pretty impressive credentials for a band whose average age is 13 (yes, you read that right), so you may be thinking that you’ve missed out on something extraordinary while the charts and radio were full of Christmas bilge…don’t worry you haven’t.

Opening track “Warped” was the lead single for the EP and is a typical kind of bubble gum Pop song… it passes along fairly harmlessly but is ruined by the incredibly high pitched vocal parts which sound like a cross between a slacker and a Glasgow Ned.

“No One Asked You Anyway” is next up. This is one of those ‘don’t push us around man’ kind of songs, you know all rebellious and the like…except that it’s just so fucking slow and plodding. At first I thought it might be a side effect of giving up smoking (since every second feels like a week) but having sampled the song during a relapse, it is that slow. There’s no feeling of that rebellious energy or urgency to the track which the lyrics suggest (lyrics that, incidentally, include the line ‘You’re never gonna slow us down’ – who says Americans don’t get irony??)

Title track “New Kids In America”…I can only describe as a sort of second rate Shampoo. I don’t think I need say more.

“Somehow” provides a change in pace, being mostly acoustic based, giving guitarist/vocalist Liv Haynes a chance to flex her vocal muscles as it were. Listening to the song, it feels like it’s been written after watching a particularly bad teen drama – hunky Josh and troubled Sasha have fallen out but, as the song plays, Josh comes to realise how much he loves Sasha and then, just as the third chorus hits, they’re in each others arms…so beautiful…so clichéd. I know kids these days are more mature but seriously this can’t be written from personal experience.

Final track “Friends Or Memories” is probably the best song on the EP. It’s a straight out Pop song, with no pretentions and is over too quickly.

I know it might seem I’m being harsh and picking on the youngsters but, to me, if you’re going to release music into the wide world and use the phrase ‘instant Pop Punk hooks with timeless old-school songwriting’ to promote it, then you have to be able to back it up and Not Ur Girlfrenz haven’t done that. “Somehow” has the line ‘I know it’s clichéd’ and that’s what the majority of this EP feels like – a cliché. Given that their ages are 13, 12 and 14 I just cannot buy that they’re writing these songs from experience…it’s almost like they’re writing about how they think things will feel, rather than how they actually did and it all just feels fake and cliché. They clearly have talent in terms of musicianship but I think that they need to experience rebellion and shitty relationships properly and then write the songs.

Review - Chris Watson

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