Review of Hellhole Ratrace Single by Girls

Review of Girls' single Hellhole Ratrace released through Fantasytrashcan/Turnstile

Girls Hellhole Ratrace Single

Calling your band Girls can lead to all kinds of assumptions, most probably forming around the notion that you're almost certain to be purveyors of synthetic, r 'n'b infused pop. Not so for this San Francisco collective; instead they're more likely to be seen delving through the back pages of rock's historical library, collecting obscure seven inch vinyls and rhetorical one-liners along the way.

Although they've only one previous 45 to their name, Girls have already created an incendiary buzz around them on both sides of the Atlantic, and if their recent performance at May's Dot To Dot Festival was anything to go by, its more than suitably justified too. If former single 'Lust For Life' explored a more playful, sexually ambiguous side to their nature, then 'Hellhole Ratrace' could be described as their heartbreak moment.

Its quite simply seven minutes of unadulterated genius, the point where bittersweet narrative stalwarts like Elvis Costello, Morrissey and Leonard Cohen queue up to take turns over what is initially a stripped down acoustic jaunt until the final third, where the heady atmospherics of reverb and feedback turn 'Hellhole Ratrace' into the most unlikely of euphoric anthems you're ever likely to hear.

As Owens states from the outset, 'All I need is some love and affection', and with this providing a more than stimulating appetiser for September's hugely anticipated debut long player, Girls may just have made the most valid claim at being your new favourite band of 2009.

Dom Gourlay

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