Review: Boys Club for Girls Stake Their Claim with Self-Titled Debut

Boys Club for Girls
Boys Club for Girls
(Brooklyn Basement Records)
3.5 out of 5 stars

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Singing-songwriting duo Amie Miriello and Vanessa Olivarez have defaced the music industry’s rule book, redacted what states the traditional roles of women in music, and etched in their own manifesto to create a Boys Club for Girls in its place.

The pair, Nashville’s latest power couple, have staked their claim with their self-titled debut, Boys Club for Girls. From fiery, thumping bangers to subdued serenades, in its 11 tracks, there is a song for anyone just as there is a place for everyone in Boys Club for Girls.

‘Boys Club for Girls’ Covert Art / Courtesy of Brooklyn Basement Records

Boys Club for Girls quakes to life with the rumbling opener, “Tell Me I’m The Only One.” The rhythm thunders behind icy vocals as an ambiguous Americana unfolds. Tinted with a vintage sheen, wailing strings, and weepy keys create a sound that is throwback rock-meets-mirrorball pop.

A grittier rock sound is amplified in the next track, “Romance is Dead.” A distant twang warbles into an assertive swamp rock in the heat-filled tune. It’s muddy and sneering, the last clump of wet earth thrown callously onto romance’s grave. “Not Just Yet” follows as a dreamy elegy to the love lost. Then the record is back up again with the infectious beat-driven bop, “The Weatherman.”

Midway through, the allure of Boys Club for Girls begins to fall away as several tracks get lost in competing harmonies and heady metaphors. The heart-aching ballads “Bad Luck Baby” and “Closest” are gorgeously subdued additions, but their tarot card-like imagery casts a somewhat distracting cloud over the back-to-back tracks.

Either punctuated by sturdy grooves and hefty rhythms or by delicate lulls and sleepy musings, the album has no real in-between. It’s up or down. The entire release, however, is threaded with these seductive ooooos, haunting in the background of each track and beckoning listeners onward.

In the end, the album doesn’t fizzle out, but rather waxes and wanes dreamily to a close with moody and atmospheric tunes like “5 O’clock Shadow” and “Past Life.”

Overall, Boys Club for Girls is a strong debut that comes out swinging. Where the album falters, an unmistakable passion and intriguing attitude make up for any shortcomings. The album is a danceable record, but also a passive listen all in the same sitting—an ideal album for all the ups and downs.

Photo by Keturah Rae Bishop / Brooklyn Basement Records

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