Male/female harmonies are often hard to come by in the indie scene. Okay, you caught me. Male/female harmonies are about as common in the indie scene as eyeliner and warped mirror shots on Myspace. Multi-gender harmonies of top quality are a little bit more obscure, however, but things are headed in the right direction with Brooklyn’s The Jealous Girlfriends.
This four-piece group (Josh Abbot, Alex Lipsen, Holly Miranda, and Mike Fadem) carry out such lethal harmonies that it’s hard to contain their vast sound within one recording. It helps that The Jealous Girlfriends have a tendency to let it all hang out and release some absolutely staggering rock tunes that utilize the harmony and the loud fuzz of distorted but moving melodies to full measure.
Let’s face it: when you’ve been featured on Grey’s Anatomy and The L Word, you’ve made it even if you’re not signed by any “major label.” So with their self-titled release, their first as a full four-piece set, it’s no wonder that the songs melt together into one giant ball of really likeable pop-rock magic. The melodies come packaged ready for prime time, yet maintain their air of mystery long enough to keep indie kids happy with their “find.”
The album’s first track, “Secret Identity,” has all of the slow build of the grunge masters. Its sharp cymbals and plodding guitars give way to the open road of loud rock soon enough, but part of the fun is in the ride up the mountain of sound this band creates. Holly’s vocals are caught somewhere between sexy and deadly sexy and the way the band pulls in behind that to deliver a rock classic is something else.
And so it is that the quartet cleverly out BSS’s Broken Social Scene.
The Jealous Girlfriends toy with just about everything at their disposal, coming up with a rock spectacular that seems too gigantic and gallant for some tiny quartet out of BK. The Muse-like drive of “How Now” sounds geared for stadium rock and Josh Abbot’s vocals reach into the stratosphere, particularly when he’s joined by Miranda.
That drive and the Miranda/Abbot blend carry throughout this release, ecstatically battling back and forth on “The Pink Wig to My Salieri” and the feline funk of “Organs on the Kitchen Floor.” This is the stuff rock goddesses everywhere dream about, I’m sure. Miranda owns Abbot every time she steps out of the box, making the grouping of vocalists all the more convincing.
The goofy strut on “Something In the Water” gives the song depth, even if it was featured on TV with McDreamy. And you can bet I won’t let David Caruso scare me off “Carry Me,” a beautifully-meandering tune that seems an ideal ending to this record and, apparently, an episode of CSI: Miami.
The best advice I can give anyone wanting to stay ahead of the musical curve is to pick up this self-titled scorcher before it’s in the hands of the kids you hate. Once you let The Jealous Girlfriends taint you with their blistering guitar riffs and insistently cool vocals, you’ll find it hard to get Holly Miranda out of your head and may find it even harder to take this album off of repeat.Powered by Sidelines