Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Father, Son, Holy Girls

Im not entirely sure how I feel about Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Girls' (AKA Christopher Owens) sophomore release. A lot was made of Owens's past, his childhood connections to the insidious Children Of God cult, his consequent emancipation and induction into the world of music and the result being his first foray into full-length recording, Album, being an idiot-savant's guide to the world of garage rock. It was infused with wide-eyed adoration and naivety, and as such had an infectious quality fused to the very core of it, making it an album very hard to resist.

Father, Son, Holy Ghost still has that sense of wonder about it, although it seems Owens has delved further back into the Buddy Holly era of rock. Nothing wrong with that at all. Yet this sense of backwards nostalgia doesn't always glue for me - opener 'Honey Bunny' comes across a little hokey, whilst 'Just A Song' is a mixture of Elliott Smith and 80s AM easy listening that errs on the wrong side of treacly sweet and 'Love Life' is a rip off of McCartney that is a little hard to swallow. That said, there are some crackers here - the shoegazy 'Alex', the classic rock rumble of 'Die' and 'Vomit', or the languid meandering of 'Forgiveness'.

My attraction to this album, and Girls, ebbs and flows. So it's a strange one, for he is shamelessly the myna bird of contemporary music, and in a day and age when every second band is retro or revivalist, the line between theft and reinvention is increasingly blurred. Still, it's worth having a listen, maybe picking the tracks that draw you in, and casting the rest aside - it's that kind of long-player.

Father, Son, Holy Ghost is out now on True Panther.

Girls - Vomit
Girls - Die

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