All Girl Summer Fun Band – S/T

The All Girl Summer Fun Band is vintage K Records. This Portland, Ore. band of four pop girls epitomizes the playful, minimal pop nature of bands like Beat Happening and the Softies. If you’re a fan of sweet girl voices, simple but poppy guitar lines, and up-beat percussion, there’s little better than a summer-type album’s worth of pop songs released in February.

These songs are all short and to the point. They sing about their boyfriends, their friends, and whatever comes to mind, often giving a sort of nonchalant impression that the point isn’t the lyrics themselves but rather the pop. And the pop is good, with light beats and playful guitar lines, and most of all of the girls adding their vocals.

The slightly mellow “Canadian Boyfriend” is cute, while “Car Trouble” tends to be a bit more rocking, more in a Cadallaca sort of way. “You broke my heart, my car won’t start,” the girls sing over a more garage-rock guitar line. There’s not much depth to the bass-heavy “Cut Your Hair,” but again it shows the band rocking out in a lo-fi, energetic manner. The “Theme Song” is a playful, rocking track to cement the band in their pop place, with the chorus of “We’re the All Girl Summer Fun Band, la-la-la-la-la-la.” My favorite song, however, is the undeniably catchy “It’s There,” with its lyrics like “doo-doo-doo, I feel in love with you.” “New In Town” is another catchy, playful pop song about boys, this time with plenty of organ-like keyboards to provide the accompaniment.

At times, this band proves to be deliciously sweet. The ultra-catchy “Brooklyn Phone Call” that starts the album has the band’s lovely vocals that merge effortlessly with an up-beat rhythm and melodic guitar playfulness. On tracks like this, I almost think the band would be at home on a pop label like Shelflife. On “Somehow Angels,” the girls sound like angels, singing sweetly about their friends in endearing harmonies over a light, mellow accompaniment. Although more up-tempo, “Cutie Pie” is ridiculously cute, with lines like “ooo-ooo cutie pie, sigh sigh sigh.”

This album is quick and easy on the ears, light and playful and fun throughout. It’s the perfect summertime listen, making you bounce up and down and grin like an idiot and almost over before you know it, made up of several short yet enjoyable songs. This is the perfect album to get you through a slow, boring afternoon, and I challenge anyone to listen to these girls without getting a goofy grin on their face.