There’s a lot of girl-fronted garage pop out there right now, and most of it is kinda weak. (Literally, thin and weak and sweet, like tea with too much milk in it.) In this age of endless Vivian Girls spin-offs, you have to wonder what happened to all the tough girls – like Wendy Case from the Paybacks and Rachel Nagy from the Detroit Cobras – or gutsy, soulful women like Margaret Garrett from Mr. Airplane Man. Did Mia Zapata of the Gits really pave the way for ingratiating, kitten-cute bands like Best Coast?
Well, maybe she did.
But, as usual, it’s the fashionable stuff that’s watered down. Look below the radar and there are still some pretty good girl bands. Case in point: Sandwitches, made up of two former Fresh & Onlys, Heidi Alexander and Grace Cooper, plus drummer Lance Kramer. Their first album, How to Make Ambient Sadcake (out last year on Turn Up records), is damned fine, full of florid, girl-on-girl harmonies, bluesy licks and loosely strung swagger…you can hear little shades of Karen Dalton and Peg Simone in the vocals (though Simone is a better guitar player) and a fine tendency to avoid clichés in the lyrics and musical settings. Plus Cooper and Alexander sound like grown up women, rather than little girls (or women trying to sound like girls), which is refreshing. I like this a lot.
Thanks to Michael for ripping it for me.