I’d have to vote GRASS WIDOW as my favorite current band right about now. This new San Francisco trio have one-upped themselves on their newest 45rpm 12”EP on the Captured Tracks label, moving greatly into an echoey, treble-heavy, clattering sound ripped straight from the late 70s Los Angeles scene, and most specifically from THE URINALS. I have heard bands take stabs at approximating the unique, monotonic, minimalist DIY sound of this particular band for thirty years, never once achieving anything as good as Grass Widow do on their new record – which, you may not be surprised to hear, has a cover of The Urinals’ “Black Hole”.
GRASS WIDOW, though, are all female, and they add a level of off-kilter harmonization that achieves the same sort of effect that John Talley-Jones did with poor recording equipment and echoes layered into the vocals. All three women sing, usually in high-pitched, sing-songy cadences that, in unison, sometimes sound as if they’re ricocheting around a Vatican cathedral. The new record has only four tracks, two of which I’d like you to listen to today. When they get to “Black Hole” at the end of Side 2, they do it so straight & so naturally that it could very well be called “claimed”. In other words, they do nothing special with it, and it sounds almost exactly like the original in spirit, tone and form. Totally love it. They rip it up live as well. See what I mean by jumping on this bandwagon before they become even bigger than 100 FLOWERS.
Play Grass Widow, “Tattoo”
Download GRASS WIDOW – “Tattoo”
Download GRASS WIDOW – “Thirsty Again”