Present magazine review

The new Te Quiero EP was just reviewed by Pete Dulin in the newest edition of Present magazine, Kansas City’s premiere online entertainment journal. Check it:

The Dead Girls unleash another batch of songs on the EP Te Quiero, their second release following on the heels of The Hair Trigger EP (review here). Of the six songs, the title track will appear on the band’s forthcoming full-length release Out of Earshot. Three of the tracks were recorded at the band’s home studio dubbed Low Bottom Labs.

In case you bump into these guys at a cocktail party, or more likely a rock club in Lawrence or Kansas City, here’s the roster to refresh your memory: Cameron Hawk (guitar/vocals), Eric Melin (drums), Jojo Longbottom (guitar/vocals), and Nick Colby (bass).

The songs on this EP continue in the vein of bright pop melody and harmony supported by ringing guitar, up-tempo rhythms, and clean production. The title track is crisp and vibrant, crackling with energy from the dual guitars. Lyrically, there’s not much to latch onto here except the catchphrase “Te quiero” meaning “I love you’ in Spanish.

“Keep Your Own Score” hammers out a solid beat followed by concentrated bursts of lyrical delivery and guitar riffs from Hawk and Longbottom. Melin’s powerful drumming reinforces the steroidal rock feel of the song.

While the band cites influences such as Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, and Kiss, I’ve heard traces of Semisonic-meets-Foo Fighters on the band’s previous EP. The pop-rock hooks of The Tubes and melodic sound of Big Star also come to the forefront on “You Take the Wrong” when the band dials down the hard-knocking rock and plays up their pop tendencies.

“Chasing Clouds” relies largely on crisp, expressive guitar notes and sparse vocals to fill the spacious atmosphere of this mid-tempo song. The final song “You and Your Sister” adopts layered harmony and vocal arrangements that channel The Beach Boys while strummy guitar wends its way through the lyrics.

The Dead Girls prove themselves capable of crafting solid songs that overlap both energetic power pop and radio-friendly rock. With two EPs of recent material under their belt and a third on the way to hype their eventual full-length, fans will find few surprises on the recordings from this foursome. The music is catchy with plenty of punch in the right places. Nothing too heavy, nothing too light. Quality isn’t an issue with the tight arrangements and polished musicianship. What remains to be seen on the upcoming full-length Out of Earshot is whether the band will take more creative chances and diversify its material to produce something unexpected that takes a little more risk for the sake of greater reward.

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