Three good songs. The obvious one is the opener, which is the perfect length (unlike the other two songs, which I’ll get to … and also unlike the song it takes its name from, which could’ve been shortened), riding in on a D major chord like a wave before the rest of the band joins in and Christopher Owens starts singing. And Christopher Owens, who bears a passing resemblance to Kurt Cobain physically, sounds like any other indie pop/rock singer except on this song, where he employs vocal acrobatics: slightly higher for the opening “Oh, I wish I had a boyfriend” (befitting opening line for the opening song for the opening album from a band called Girls with no girls in it) and growling “Oh, I wish I had a father” the way a fatherless child ought to growl it. The backing vocals, coming in on the second verse, for once in the indie-verse, deserve the Beach Boys comparison. Their best song, and arguably the best song of that year.
The other two are the big booming “Laura,” with likeable guitar fills, and “Hellhole Ratrace,” even though its the anti-“Lust for Life” – self-depreciating instead of humourous, stark instead of sunny, 7 minutes long instead of a blissful 2 minutes – it’s still better than the rest of the songs here because the choruses are tuneful. The rest of this album isn’t as good as the source material, or even as good as previous indie bands like the Shins, who weren’t that good in the first place. Their worst release, and it pains me that their following EP wasn’t nearly as talked about (even though it’s twice as good), simply because it’s an EP instead of an album. Figure it out.