Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Girls Can’t Catch – Keep Your Head Up

Sadly can’t cross-reference this name with All Known Metal Bands…


Alex Macpherson: On hearing that Goldfrapp synth riff dragged out and put to work yet again, like an old workhorse which should really have been long retired, I sighed deeper than I have in a good while, and only narrowly averted doing a literal ~facedesk~. How is it even possible to give a shit about these in a year when Electrik Red exist, anyway?

Martin Kavka: Given the massive lack of success of Tokio Hotel for Fascination Records last year, the label decides to rethink its desire to tap into the pocketbooks of geeky and alienated British girls. The result is a slightly goth girl group — a Goldfrapp with training wheels. (The blond one has black nails! The redhead wears ripped tights, and way too much eye makeup! The brunette … stands there. But she stands there in clunky shoes!) They’re not more manufactured than other acts on the label’s roster, but this first single doesn’t allow the listener even a moment’s fantasy that these girls are doing anything that men haven’t commanded them to do.

Frank Kogan: The deep-voiced blonde who starts this is powerful enough, juxtaposed with the bass throb; the chorus takes me by surprise, gets showy, pulls an attention-getting chord shift. But the brunette is pitifully weak on verse two, and from there the track is way too undifferentiated, all rev-it-up, doesn’t come close to the rough promise of its opening, even if that chord change hooks me every time.

Iain Mew: I think I still love the Xenomania template, but this manages to make it sound so lazy and passé that I begin to doubt. The semi-rapped bit even sounds like rehashed Gwen Stefani, for fuck’s sake.

Talia Kraines: The name, the video, the saturation of girl groups… if we ignore the backlash that Girls Can’t Catch seem to have accumulated before they’ve even started, this is an ace first single. It makes me not want to mess with them, and proves they are a dab hand at singing speedily. Ideal attributes should they ever have a girl-group-off with The Dollyrockers.

Edward Okulicz: While Girls Can’t Catch’s sound is millennial enough, they themselves might as well be third-album Atomic Kitten – they’ve got the fuzz of Girls Aloud without the sass, and there’s a pitiful gap where the catchy song is supposed to be. The minimal, but present, personality of the girls that lingers in the verses vanishes in the blankness of the chorus.

Michaelangelo Matos: Not knowing the first thing about them, I played this a few times and thought, nice — very polished but not too much so. Turns out they’re a British girl group risen from the ashes of a bunch of other British girl groups no one in America has heard of. (“Next up is Miss Phoebe Brown who some of you may recognise from 2007’s sassy girlband Hope” — MySpace bio.) Who knows if they’ve got anything else like this going on, but if so they deserve to turn some other Yank ears.

Anthony Miccio: It’s a shame they’re wasting this nuclear cabaret glam stomp on such a weak girl group. Maybe Katy Perry can steal it back for her next album.

Chuck Eddy: I’m hoping the croquet in the video is a Heathers reference. But when playing croquet, isn’t it wiser to keep your head down, no matter what Mama advises?

Alfred Soto: The synth bass mimics Joy Division’s “A Means To an End,” whose title is only appropriate: the track’s recherché vibe hopes to impress the rest of the pop top ten. They want you to keep your head up because you’re nodding off.

Jonathan Bradley: Is it possible for mush to be gleaming? Chrome porridge, or something?

Additional Scores

Anthony Easton: [3]
Martin Skidmore: [7]

3 Responses to “Girls Can’t Catch – Keep Your Head Up”

  1. “I think I still love the Xenomania template, but this manages to make it sound so lazy and passé that I begin to doubt.” This isn’t Xenomania.

  2. Ok, that explains a lot. Slap on the wrist to self for jumping to conclusions off coverage and not fact checking again.

  3. This could’ve been brilliant hadn’t it been ruined by an unbelievably incompetent production.