LISTEN To GRLWOOD's New Album "Daddy"
Garage Rock/sonaBLAST! Records/Released June 15, 2018
In less than a year Louisville, Kentucky duo GRLwood has made quite the name for themselves. Singer/guitarist Rej Forester and drummer Karen Ledford joined forces after meeting at one of Forester's solo shows. What followed were frequent performances by the band that quickly earned them a following and coverage by the likes of NPR, AV Club, and New Noise Magazine. After releasing a few demos and singles the band released their full length debut Daddy in June 2018.
GRLwood describes their style as "Scream Pop". Notably for Forester's distinct shrieks interspersed with more conventional singing styles and raw instrumentation that alternates between melodic guitar passages and swift explosions of punk rock. Despite the bare bones instrumental set up the band keeps things interesting with their clever use of start/stop song dynamics, balance of melody and aggression, and Forester's impressive range in both notation and style.
Topically, the band puts forth a pro-queer and pro-feminist message. Rather than going the preachy route lyrically they explore these topics through dry sarcasm and light-hearted lyrics. "Vaccines Made Me Gay" mock the more incredulous reasons some people think gayness emerges for women such as football, fast cars, and the titular vaccines. "Nice Guy" is sung from the perspective of a man who proclaims himself as such. And is baffled by why he can't get laid despite this. And there's also the whimsical "Wet" where the only lyrics are "You make me wet/you make me so wet". It's either a track for kicks and giggles, or the most blunt love song in existence. Either way, we love it.
There's also more heartfelt tracks in the likes of the soft and dreamy "I'm Not You", the instrumental "Bow Song" named for its usage of a bow on the guitar, and the power balladry of "Communicate With Me". The latter of those being a personal favorite with its slow build up in power and emotional feel. These tracks show the level of diversity the band is able to accomplish within their "essentials only" garage set up and delivery.
The heap of attention GRLwood has gotten so quickly is fully warranted with their stand out style and talent for performance. Daddy runs the gamut of vibes from whimsical fun to brooding emotion. And displays the many sides of the band's sense of identity and personality.