Fairmount Girls – Eleven Minutes to Anywhere

Fairmount Girls
Eleven Minutes to Anywhere

Ooo, I remember girl pop bands like this. I just haven’t heard any in a long time. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, lots of girl bands wanted to sound like this and tried their hardest. The sweet-sounding vocals are obviously the focus of this music, at times almost burying the soft, poppy guitars and subtle bass work. But the vocals are what you’re listening to this for, the way they sing with everything they have in them, belting out lines like “please don’t worry about me” and “I wouldn’t expect you to act the same way I do .” There is definitely a punk, almost grrrl-rock feel to this, but it sounds as if their sound has been refined to the point where that’s only evident in the attitude, and the occassionally crunchy guitar riff. It’s the pop and vocal harmonies that are important now. And the production quality is perfect, putting the vocals up front and letting the music keep up.
“1-900-Fairmount” (and no, I haven’t tried calling it) really has a throwback pop sound, with multiple back-up vocals, plenty of “ba-da-da-whoo”‘s, and a steady beat throughout. “(Hold Me) Underwater” has a sweet, chimey sound, bringing back hints of the Breeders and the poppier side to Throwing Muses, maybe even hints of Juliana Hatfield. “Solar Sunday,” with its backing harmonies and straightforward guitar riffs, brings back the Breeders even more, only poppier and prettier. There are backing keyboards in “Sugar 26,” with vocals that wouldn’t be out of place, done more punkish, on your favorite grrrl-rock album. “Nurse Shark” is slower and spacier. “Whisper, Whine and Scream” rocks a little faster, but it doesn’t skimp on the backing “ooo-la-la-la-la-la-la’s.” “No Way” shows you the grrl-punk side of Fairmount Girls, with louder guitars and some shouted lyrics, sounding very Bikini Kill (no swearing, tho). And “Nash,” definitely the best track on the whole album, even got air play around here. The bass is deep and ominous, the vocals are biting and heartfelt, the guitar loud and crunchy in parts and soft and introspective in others. This track should be played everywhere, it could propel these girls (and one guy) to certain stardom. It’s also a long track, droning and spiraling for the last two minutes. Might need a radio edit before certain stardom.
I feel that my memory of the fun girl pop bands has diminished, likely replaced by other useless knowledge, but this song, and this whole album, has such a comfortable, reminiscent nature without being tired and old. You can’t help but smiling, listening to Fairmount Girls, and you’ll bob your head and sing along and tap your fingers without even realizing you’re doing it.