x
Artist of the Month
the_deli_magazine
  • local channel
  • local charts
  • studios
  • submit
  • submit

 
deli cover

September 2014
Katy Guillen & the Girls
"Katy Guillen & the Girls
"
mp3
Normally when I discover a band for the first time, I listen to their album first, then go see them live. In the case of Katy Guillen & The Girls’ new release, the situation's been reversed. I saw them live a couple of times before the album was released, so I was interested to hear if the record was going to capture the ferocity of their live performances. I have to confess that my hearing is not in the best of shape, and, due to a poor sound mix at what shall be an unnamed Lawrence venue, I never got to hear the words or even the melodies properly live at the most recent concert I attended. But upon hearing the self-titled LP, it’s nice to hear that Guillen can write literate lyrics to these songs I've heard played out.
 
The album opener, "Don't Get Bitter," hearkens back to the sound and feel of the Beatles' "Taxman," with Claire Adams' bass introducing the song. It's short, catchy, and lasts exactly as long as it should. If there were a single release off this album, this would be it.
 
This record is no-frills. It's the band pretty much as you hear them live, with the mix capturing a live in-studio sound. What strikes me listening to this record is that Katy and the Girls are not strictly a blues band. There's certainly an infusion of the blues in what they do, but, to my ears, they hearken back to some of the late ‘60s-early ‘70s hard rock bands like Mountain and Free, but with better lyrics and songs. I also hear some White Stripes in there somewhere. The melodies and harmonies are accentuated and they help blend with the powerful playing.
 
Katy Guillen, Claire Adams, and Stephanie Williams fill up a lot of space in these songs. It's obvious they are all very well in sync and have that great intuitive blend that comes from playing lots of live gigs together. I also like the changes in some of the songs, which go in directions you don't expect, like "Woke Up In Spain," which switches tempo adroitly.
 
The absolute masterpiece of this album is the last song, “Earth Angel.” It's the longest tune on the album, but it doesn't feel long. It starts out with Guillen’s dirty-sounding guitar intro, reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," and builds in intensity as it moves along. Guillen takes one hell of a solo during this song. It's obvious from hearing this record that she is an excellent guitarist but never overplays during the songs. But when the song calls for a lengthy solo, like "Earth Angel," sparks fly. The rest of the band is equally as adept. Adams’ bass lines are nimble and fit right in place with Williams’ active drum work. It's a pleasure to hear a band that obviously loves to play together rolling through these songs. The album’s producer (Duane Trower at Weights & Measures Soundlab) captures the clarity of the music as well as the power of a live performance.
 

--Barry Lee

Rate the Artist:


Please visit The Deli's full web charts organized by genre and region.


Go to Charts

Cancel

scene blog

Album review: The Lucky - The Lucky (EP)

Album review: The Lucky - The Lucky (EP)

The Lucky does not waste anyone’s time getting into the nitty-gritty of its self-titled EP. A four-count of fast, punky guitars drives you straight into the opening track, whimsically titled “Lalalalike You,” a cute little diddy about—not love—simply lalalaliking someone. Lead primarily by the vocal work of Jason McKee, his female counterpart Camilla Camille, chimes in every now and then to boost the anthem into a high-speed duet.

           
“Lalalalike You” is promptly followed up with “Owl & Me.” This song slows things down a bit… but only a bit. Camille’s sensual, breathy vocals on the verses transmute into a full-blown rocker-chick sound for the chorus. “Can’t Shake You” is next. Again, Camille voices this song. It’s equally as charming as the first song. With a chorus of “la la la’s,” the song quickly anchors itself into that part of the brain where songs tend to get stuck.
 
The final track, “Mad One,” brings up the lively grungy guitars every loves (to some degree). A classy guitar solo spins the song into something that can easily be taken as a single. This song is easily a depiction of what The Lucky is all about.
 
I have yet to mention drummer Jonathan Thatch’s work on these tracks. The drum work is as simple as you’d want it to be—consistent throughout the entire four-track EP. Executed flawlessly to maintain the powerful punk sounds of the songs, the drums add a powerful element.
 
If you’re not listening for it, you won’t miss the bass riffs. The band is simply a three-piece, omitting the bass. The guitar work keeps the listener at full attention. The album sounds ultimately lo-fi, in terms of recording quality. But you wouldn’t want to listen to The Lucky any other way. The fast-paced rock ‘n roll songs are boosted with a lo-fi sound, making it seem as though The Lucky is performing right in front of you, at a bar or in your garage; a more intimate sound for the band.
 
The Lucky’s self-titled album was recorded by Paul Malinowski at Massive Sound and mastered by Duane Trower at Weights and Measures Soundlab.
 
The Lucky will release its debut EP tomorrow night, Friday, February 15, at recordBar. The Lover’s Rock show begins at 10:00 pm with The Heavy Figs, followed by The Lucky, and rounded out by Schwervon!. Tickets are available at the door or purchase here for $7.

--Steven Ervay

Steven is the intern of Midwest Music Foundation and The Deli - Kansas City. He can't go to 21+ shows yet and that bums him out.  

Share this story on Facebook


aom

New Poll Coming Soon!

[sponsored by]



- news for musician and music industry peeps -