Album Review

Go Grey

Go Grey

by U.S Girls


Siltbreeze
6.5 / 10
31st May 2010

Reviewed by Paul Gallagher


Megan Remy aka U.S. Girls forges pop mastery with looped guitar fuzz, scattered rasp vocals and layers of warm feedback. It's a simplistic and raw method of creation, a meeting place of noise and psych reverb that never really allows the listener to settle into a rhythm. Like many of her Siltbreeze labelmates (Eat Skull, Sic Alps, Charalambides to name a few), Remy evokes a persistent DIY ethos and an almost hard-nosed and tension-drenched aesthetic - ready to dispose or sacrifice anything to master the moment in capturing the desired sound.

Go Grey is by no means a perfect listen if you're looking for accessibility. Appropriately released on vinyl, of course, it would take a brave listener to persist their way through the entire LP despite the fact its length is made up by a mere nine tracks. There's a divergent wandering within the songs that makes their consumption sometimes a challenge. If you consider this new album in comparison with Remy's back catalog of a CDR, some 7-inches and cassettes, Go Grey should be appreciated for standing apart from the rest with the greater heights of sound achieved. There's a sense of an artist grower wiser and perhaps more cynical, marking a shift for U.S. Girls from focusing on emergence to ensuring the ship gathers momentum. 

Red Ford Radio is the obvious stand out track, marking itself as Go Grey's most consumption-ready and functionally pop offering. Methodically dark drums lead you into vocal turmoil where Remy uses her poise to carefully balance repetition away from delving too far into obscurity. Her voice transcends the bottled reverb fuzz that persists with more ardour elsewhere in the record, and indulges her paranoiac tendencies with a sense of clarity. However, despite the thick swamp texture of Remy's typical method there's a great level of depth to be appreciated throughout the entire album - with (personal favourite) Summer of the Yellow Dress acting hypnotically with haze to gather the listener in beneath pentatonic scales. I Don't Have a Mind of My Own evokes a more punk-ridden attitude, bringing to bear the more angst touched nature that seems to lurk behind U.S. Girls but isn't often seen through veils of noise. 

All in all, Go Grey is 28 minutes of absolute control from an aural poet. Yes, it is evasive in its art-noise way and admittedly will be a thoroughly tough listen to anyone unaccustomed to the Siltbreeze family or Remy's prior work. But it is a challenge that, by all means, can be rewarding.






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