Grass Widow's Internal Logic received a 7.7 rated album review from Pitchfork today.
Published May 22nd 2012:
" San Francisco trio Grass Widow borrow from a number of proudly retro sounds: surf rock, post-punk, and minimalist indie pop. But the band's most distinct, and even quietly innovative, quality is its vocals: Guitarist Raven Mahon, bassist Hannah Lew, and drummer Lillian Maring all sing, their voices colliding in off-kilter, prismatic harmonies. This vocal approach gives their songs a diffuse, uncanny atmosphere: At times, their bouncy tunes sound like Raincoats songs that have become lost in a hall of mirrors.
Since 2009, Grass Widow have honed this technique on a couple of increasingly solid albums-- the best being their 2010 Kill Rock Stars release Past Time-- but their latest, Internal Logic, is the first where they sound in total command of their sound. Past Time songs like "Tuesday" had a gleeful, teetering dynamism about them, vocal melodies and guitar lines jutting out in all directions. On Internal Logic, though, all the moving parts work together with the barebones utility of a go-kart. Mahon's riffs have a motorik, low-end grumble, Maring's drumming a steady sputter, and a rubbery propulsion to Lew's basslines; the harmonies float up around these tight arrangements like exhaust, woozy-sweet. "Flying past the buildings," they sing on the album's first single, "Milo Minute", and you can almost feel the wind mussing up your hair.
There's evidence all over Internal Logic that Grass Widow have spent the two years since Past Time tightening up their sound. The angular, warbling energy that animates lead-off track "Goldilocks Zone" or the strolling, mid-tempo vibe of "Under the Atmosphere" suggest a band that isn't interested in adding new and extraneous elements to its sound; instead, they're engaged in smart, subtle tune-ups, in learning how to make more with less. And if that sounds like DIY 101, it's not off the mark: Internal Logic is also the first release on their own label HLR (Hannah Lillian Raven) Records.
The songs on Internal Logic are like triple-exposed photographs, their nebulous, hazy qualities occasionally belying the acute skill with which they've been composed. "It's not right/ Woke up in a different time," goes the three-part harmony on the buoyant "Disappearing Industries", and the line's sense of displacement is a fitting description of their sound. It feels fortunate that Grass Widow arrived on the scene a few years too late to be lumped in with the mid-aughts post-punk revival, because they've honed an approach that feels more personal and self-contained than it does trendy. Grass Widow pluck from the sounds of the past and then piece them back together with a logic all their own." - words by Lindsay Zoladz
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