Spooks - The Beautiful Girls
Jamaica’s rhythms have been appropriated, manipulated and adulterated by Jakes (white folk) the world over. But, few non-Jamaicans have made more that just a passing musical reference to the trippy, reverberated beat science of dub. The Beautiful Girls are an Australian trio of passport rockers whose name looks alluring on any marquee like Brazilian Girls and Barenaked Ladies before them. The moniker could only possibly be more eye-catching if it were Free Beer. While inevitable comparisons have been made to Vampire Weekend and other white bands with an abiding affection for roots music, The Beautiful Girls venture deeper into the spacey expanses of the dub stylee as exemplified on the opening set from their new release Spooks. My Mind Is An Echo Chamber draws the listener back to the days of King Tubby, with ricocheting snare snaps and horn shots bouncing in ever-accelerating patterns through the springs of a plate reverb. Analog synths squawk and fart punctuation through a trance-inducing one-drop. Singer/songwriter Mat Mchugh describes an intense studio exploration on this record, estimating at least 30 songs were thrown out before a direction for the disc began to take shape. An ear for editing is readily apparent through the 11 t racks on Spooks. Standouts include the first sizzling single, Don’t Wait, the super bouncy 10:10 featuring MC Vida-Sunshyne and the aforementioned My Mind Is An Echo Chamber. The Mexican-style Day of the Dead dolls adorning the cover are actually the work of Czech artist and performer, Dashenka Prochazka. She says her favorite place is between life and death. That would look good on an eHarmony profile don’t you think?