October 31, 2014

Split: Slutever / Girlpool

Two best friend duos team up for the sickest split.

Girlpool's been making some serious waves this past year. The LA-based pair released a string of unique singles that turned heads and carved a distinctly drum-less niche among the onslaught of Los Angeles garage bands. I first caught Girlpool open for fellow shredders Peach Kelli Pop and was instantly impressed by the striking talent of Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker as the two harkened Plath and Kim Deal in the same breath. A few months later, I heard a track from Slutever that blew up both my mind and my iPod called "White Flag". Slutever’s distinct verve - a youthful panoply of ankle-biting snark - struck the same riotous chord in me that I’d felt as I devoured the Girlpool bandcamp.

The pairing of these two bands prompts me to recall the bats from Stellaluna and their musings on puzzling sameness. The bands are quite different in a sonic sense. Girlpool’s songs tend to take shape slowly, as in the track “This Place”. The lack of percussion frames Girlpool's dueling guitars in a spotlight that emphasizes the careful, Jenga-like quality of their towering voices. Rachel Gagliardi and Nicole Snyder of Slutever take a page from early nineties Olympia with raucous, bouncy rhythms and the girls-to-the-front attitude. Their single on the split-tape, “Stomach Ache,” is a plucky power-chord driven song as rumbling and gastic as a stuffed gut.

So, if the bands sound so different from each other, what is it that makes this collaboration so on point? For one, the bands' structures are identical. Slutever and Girlpool both showcase the explosive power of a punk-rock two-piece fueled by the mutual benefit of a BFF brain-trust. Or maybe it’s the bluntness of their musical delivery that unites the bands in playfully bratty, candid likeness. Nevertheless, it is obvious that these two bands have found in one another a kindred spirit. Girlpool’s lippy proverbs and stringent harmonies come together so naturally with Slutever’s playful pop-punk patterns on this perfunctory split that I’m blissfully baffled as to where one band ends and the other one begins.


Listen to the split on bandcamp.

Bryn Lovitt is an L.A.-bred Pisces who shares a birthday with Kurt Cobain and Patty Hearst, which she believes explains her perfectly. She spends her time freelance writing for several magazines and composing love songs for Jordan Catalano on a pink electric guitar.