Friday, May 31, 2013

CASSETTE REVIEW: The Mystery Girls “In the Meantime The In Between Time” (Kind Turkey Records)

The Mystery GirlsIn the Meantime The In Between Time” (Kind Turkey Records)
                This cassette is my first introduction to the band Mystery Girls.   You know, a lot of times when I listen to music, unless you see it as a band you know I’ve reviewed before, it’s probably my first time being introduced to a band.   And I’m no stranger to demos, in fact I seek them out on some level, but this is quite a way to make an impression on someone who is listening to a band for the first time.

                Side A of “In the Meantime The In Between Time” (Which I will now shorten to “this tape” from here on out) is a mixture of rarities, outtakes and demos.  Now, rarities, sure, but these songs don’t really have that quality (or lack thereof) that you think of when you see words like “outtakes” and “demos”. 
                So rather than hearing ten to twelve songs that are straight forward and presumably the best that the band has to offer, I am getting the songs (on Side A) that were either earlier versions (i.e. pre-the good stuff), left on the studio floor (i.e. not the good stuff) or songs that people couldn’t necessarily identify this band with having recorded. 

                Needless to say, The Mystery Girls are coming into this review fighting an uphill battle from the start.

                But I do like this.   The Mystery Girls never sound any less than their best (Well, from what I know of them, right?) on Side A and you can’t tell demos are demos or why songs might be outtakes.  (Maybe there just wasn’t enough room on the album or it didn’t fit the groove, but it certainly isn’t the quality of the songs)   The Mystery Girls have a sound that I like to call punk rock n roll.   It’s something that can only be attributed to a band by me with the precise dose of both punk and rock n roll so as not to sound too much like the Ramones nor the Strokes.   (I don’t really think of The Strokes as being rock n roll, but people will often associate even the label “punk rock n roll” with a band like them.  Poor misguided souls)

                The Mystery Girls have the raw energy of a band like River City Rebels or Stray Cats.  They sound like they should be a part of the Burger Records family   They also have a flat out rock n roll song with horns circa 1980’s/1990’s Motor City.   And, yes, they can even cross into a bluesy sound like that band I reviewed once who reviewed Little Richard in a punk rock style. 

                All of the same applies to Side B except that Side B is them playing live.   If you consider Side A to be them at their worst, at least in theory, then Side B would be them at their best because bands that are better in studios than live do not belong in my speakers.   So, really, you can go from
the worst to the best of this band in one single tape, but I don’t really think it’s all that bad. 

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