Girlboy Girl

Forget the Ladder, Climb the Wall

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Girlboy Girl are from the same Bristol, England, indie scene that spawned the legendary Sarah Records label in the late '80s, but unfortunately, they arrived on the scene just too late to benefit from the association. Their second full-length album, 2003's Forget the Ladder, Climb the Wall, sounds for all the world like it could have been an early-'90s release on Sarah -- Boyracer guitarist Matty Green is a new member of the quartet alongside new drummer/producer Sean Taplin and stalwart singer/guitarists Paula Knight and Rupert Taylor -- with its bare-bones production, fuzzy guitars, languid tempos, and tentative, wavering boy/girl vocals. The main drawback is that while the album has the good old twee pop sound down pat, the songs themselves don't make much impression. Only the clangorous, piercing guitar lines and winsome vocal melody of "Radiator" stand out among these 14 perfectly pleasant but frustratingly sketchy tunes. Forget the Ladder, Climb the Wall is an enjoyable listen, but it's hard to remember much about it half an hour later.

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