If the Courtneys’ second album were an inanimate object, it would be the spaghetti bracelets I once wore around my arm as a lonely pre-teen girl, praying for her first period to come so that she could complain about it to all the other girls in the school bathroom. Do not mistake the innocence of their sound for amateurism; the perfect simplicity of it produces sounds that you thought you’ve known all along. The lush, sunburnt songs of this album are filled with the hope and optimism of a 13-year-old me.
The Vancouver trio, consisting of ‘Classic Courtney’ (guitar and vocals), ‘Crazy Courtney’ (bass and vocals) and ‘Cute Courtney’ (drums and lead vocals) have not drifted astray from their first and previous album, and having since signed with New Zealand label Flying Nun. They have managed to keep the lo-fi garage pop sounds of their first album alive, having embodied them into varying shades of something reminiscent of a Courtney Love style (minus the heroin).
My personal favourite track off the album is ‘Iron Deficiency’, it’s one of the grittier tracks on the album, but it executes a few uplifting riffs that give you that cliché ‘fuck everything I’m quitting my job and leaving’ kinda feel. The paced rhyming of the vocals in this one makes me think of the bad girl attitude of The Runaway’s song Cherry Bomb, while the lyrics imply the kind of self loathing you feel when you’re sick and need change (My hair is breaking/ My body is aching/ In the mirror, I look forsaken). The majority of the tracks have an empowering quality to them, the kind of power that makes women want to throw their Mooncups at men, regardless of the fact that these songs have nothing to do with female empowerment.
Early romances, teenage vampire boyfriends, moving to Australia, TV and alien invasion are all amongst the topics explored in these songs. With it’s 90s grunge attitude, dreamy female vocals and surfy bass grooves, this album will take you on a nostalgic bubblegum-punk journey through the world of suburban streets, maybe even making your Barbie dolls have sex. It’s dreamy, easy to love, light hearted and infectious. It lacks profound meaning but who gives a fuck about that anyway.
Words by Jasmine Tara Erkan
The review first appeared in print volume 88 edition 2 STOP