Girls: Father, Son, Holy Ghost

True Panther Sounds

The opening track on Girls' latest album is called "Honey Bunny," and that ought to give some idea about the band's sound, which could be explained as jangly, self-aware pre-punk for post-Pulp Fiction America. The group's frontman Christopher Owens is prone to provocative songwriting, and Father, Son, Holy Ghost features its share of barbs. But it's the music that's at the heart of the record; it's a more rounded, mature approach than the one displayed on the band's '09 debut. Owens has calmed down some, and Girls' sound thusly benefits. There are some conspicuous and surprising influences on Father - Smashing Pumpkins ("Alex"), Black Sabbath ("Die"), Pink Floyd ("Vomit") - but Girls is still inextricably grounded in the damaged doo-wop of its origin. It's a more creative take on it, though, and if you were turned off by the borderline-blandness of the group's first record, give 'em another shot. (4 out of 5 stars)