Girls Against Boys

Sexy Sam

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From the opening staccato bassline of "Sexy Sam," this 1994 Girls Against Boys EP roars out of the speakers with the ferocity Nineties vs. Eighties hinted at but was sidetracked on Tropic of Scorpio and ultimately perfected with Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby.

"Sexy Sam" aside, the EP is comprised of tracks lifted from previously released records: Nineties vs. Eighties, Tropic of Scorpio, and Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby. While it was never released as part of a proper Girls Against Boys record, "Sexy Sam" is also available as a live cut on the band's 1995 Kill the Sexplayer EP. With the decidedly split personality of "I'm From France," Girls Against Boys forgo their usual screaming distortion and bass thump onslaught in favor of verses constructed of crystal-clear guitar, mellow bass, and xylophone-esque keyboards. The eternally raspy, Marlboro Red-voiced McCloud coyly sing-speaks his way through fluffy lyrics, like "I'm from France/That's why I dance/Ooh la la," before the chorus barges in with mean, fuzzy guitars and decidedly darker lyrics, like "That's just the way I am/There's too many people inside." With its eerie lounge atmosphere, "I'm From France" serves as an indication of the psycho-jazz vibe McCloud and Temple lock in on with their other outfit, New Wet Kojak. Previously available on the increasingly difficult to come by Girls Against Boys Adult Swim debut, Nineties vs. Eighties, "Stay in the Car" has the feel of apocalyptic, steroid-addled disco. It constantly threatens to become full-on industrial metal, and perhaps at times it does cross that line, but it is oddly danceable at the same time. The sound is big and resonant, as though it was recorded in an empty warehouse. Part of Girls Against Boys' second release, Tropic of Scorpio, "My Night of Pleasure" finds a young, considerably less-gruff-voiced McCloud almost singing over jazzy guitars, smooth bass, plinky keyboard riffage, and Eli Janney's trademark falsetto. As with "I'm From France," things take a darker, louder, more rocking turn when the chorus kicks in, and the contrast is wholly effective. The EP wraps up with the ultra-rock of Venus Lux's "Rockets Are Red," with its signature Girls Against Boys swagger and McCloud's cynical interrogation "How do you feel? What kind of question is that?" But wait -- as was popular in the early to mid-'90s, the disc includes an unlisted bonus track, "Sharkmeat." Slow, subdued, and oddly creepy, McCloud muses quietly over a repetitive, hypnotic keyboard riff of one or two notes played relentlessly, like a metronome.

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