By: Peter Gaston
If the Morning After Girls had written that song about wearing sunscreen, it might have gone something like this: “Wear black. From head to toe. It doesn’t matter if you live in sunny Australia, where days can easily be spent surfing and grilling on the Barbie. Stay indoors. Play the guitar. Count the eyelets on your Chuck Taylors while playing guitar. Turn that amp up to 11. Deafen your audience.”
On Prelude: EPs 1 & 2, the Melbourne-based Girls offer a sneak preview of what’s bound to be a dirty, hazy, and reverb-drenched proper debut in 2006. Laid-back, acoustic-fueled stoner jams like “Lazy Greys” segue into thickly grooved mid-tempo romps like “Run for Our Lives” and driving rants like “Hi-Skies.” Sure, there are pages ripped hastily from the shoegazer cookbook, but only the best ones. But throughout, the Girls display an endearing fondness for the blues, particularly on the shuffling late-album track “Slowdown,” with its brushed drums and harmonic struts.
As anyone who’s ever traveled to Australia can attest, it’s a long, arduous, and expensive trip. The Girls have been making good use of their time in the U.S., with some impressive sets at South by Southwest this past March, and an astonishing nine gigs during September’s week-long CMJ Music Marathon in New York. More U.S. dates and a return to SXSW are planned for 2006, and Prelude is out now in the States on Rainbow Quartz.