Lyricist: Kam Andresen.
Illustrator: Peter Hujar.
L.A. punk trio Girl Tears don't mess around with things like guitar solos, complicated bridges, or virtuosity of any kind. Instead, their debut album, Tension, blasts through 12 songs in a mere ten minutes, forsaking all of the above in favor of making a quick impact and getting out right away. Their down-in-the-gutter sound doesn't fool around with pop much, though the songs are hooky, sharp, and sound nothing like they carbon-copied some early Clash albums. Instead, between Tristan Ellis' rattling bass, Sal Gabriel's tightly wound drums, and singer Kam Andresen's darkly yowled vocals and scrappy guitar work, there is plenty of Gun Club-esque gothic blackness and wire-thin post-punk angularity in the mix to keep things interesting without becoming too "punk" or too nostalgic. Could the songs have been longer? For sure, most of them could have been doubled without any loss in quality. The best ones, like the swaggeringly macabre "Candy Darling" and the just plain swaggering "Kill for Love," could have even stretched out to the two-minute mark! They kept it very short and not so sweet for their debut, though, and it works. Tension may not last long, but you might find yourself playing it three or four times in a row and enjoying it more each time. ~ Tim Sendra