Girls Against Boys – Cruise Yourself

3 out of 5

Label: Touch and Go

Produced by: Ted Niceley

I realize that GvsB’s ‘classic’ Touch and Go albums seem generally regarded as the best of their current catalogue, but ‘Cruise Yourself’ and ‘House of GvsB’ don’t get near as much rotation for me as their TnG debut or what followed.  The group has always projected a vibe of the gutter and glamor, smashing the two together and calling it sexy while sneering at the same time, and while this album and the next were logical progressions along that theme before they had their major label debut, the flash of the timeline captured on ‘Cruise’ can’t (in my ears) possibly generate the same kind of energy as the other discs I’ve mentioned.  Not that it doesn’t poke its head through: ‘Cruise Your New Baby Fly Self’ are ‘Psychic Know-How’ are blasts of fuzz and keys and beats that stand side by side in the momentous thrills ‘Luxure’ provides, and a more direct ‘The Royal Lowdown’ looks forward to the kind of fist-pumping they would produce on their excellent latter-day Jade Tree release, ‘You Can’t Fight What You Can’t See.’  Elsewhere, producer Ted Niceley and the group work in a surprising amount of layers, stripping back some of that late-night haze and giving what remains a polish (that would become a bit brighter on ‘House of GvsB’).  This results in catchy, fun tracks like ‘Kill the Sexplayer’ and ‘My Martini,’ and is equally capable of straddling something a bit slower and more contemplative, like the mid-album ‘Explicitly Yours,’ featuring vocalist McCloud in whisper-rasp form, but the attempts to, perhaps, step outside of the limelight a bit and look in, cracking wise with jibes, add a detached feeling to the disc.  On the surface, you can absolutely tell its GvsB, and any single track is guaranteed to get you bobbing your head.  It’s a good album, and if I’d bought it first, it might be a great album.  However, I bought ‘Venus Luxure’ first, and ‘Cruise Yourself’s overall impact is diminished versus the post-hardcore stylings that’d led them to here.  The group was comprised of seasoned players by this point, but I can’t help but hear a band struggling to figure out what ‘sound’ they want to portray… while trying to play cool and act like that doesn’t matter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s