Released in three different formats—CD, vinyl, and cassette—Orange County punks Vultures United’s long-awaited tribute to women in music, Girls, finally made its way to my mailbox courtesy of Baldy Longhair, who released it on cassette (naturally). Baldy bands such as The Disconnects and Crazy & The Brains first got my attention, and I’ve been hooked on and eagerly anticipating new sounds from this label ever since. Girls does not disappoint.
The tape starts off with an instrumental track called “Mary Jo Lisa,” then goes into a cover of The Ting Tings’ “That’s Not My Name” that is just as infectious and fun as the original, while still being aggressive and loud. Also covered are Best Coast, X-Ray Spex, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with intricate, intelligent instrumentals peppered throughout. But I’ve got to say, what really knocked me over was their version of Björk’s “Army Of Me.”
Björk is not an easily imitated artist—hell, we’re not sure she’s even from Earth half the time—but this cover is still as intense and vivid as it was meant to be, whilst being turned into a raging hardcore track. It’s impressive.
Side two of the tape comes to a close with a really nice, melodic cover of Nico’s “These Days,” which is basically a cherry-on-top ending. It comes in as a close second to the Björk cover for me.
When I first saw that this tape was a bunch of covers, I raised an eyebrow. But I was very impressed by what Vultures United have done in terms of taking both the “new” and “old” of the best of female-fronted rock ‘n’ roll and making it their own. All in all, it’s a really pleasant surprise, and yet another score for Baldy Longhair.