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.