Rich Girls' Love is the Dealer captures desolation in the quest for romance.
There’s a comic from the website Owl Turd about our emotional states as we get older. It says that we start out life as a warm mushy pink blob. We are sensitive, fully in our feelings, and have no reservations. As we get older and we invariably get hurt by our parents/friends/romantic partners, we start to build up walls. Eventually we become these unflinching steel robots that will wait hours to text back to keep someone interested or avoiding saying how much we like a person in order to feel desperate. We appear as if we rarely get hurt, and become very good at making our way through the dangerous world. Underneath all the armor, piloting that robot is the same mushy pink blob.
Rich Girls is a duo that makes dreamy guitar rock about the trauma that causes us to become that robot in the first place. They spend most of their time on their new EP Love is the Dealer crafting mournful garage rock tunes that harken back to classic groups like the Cocteau Twins as well as newer bands like Best Coast. But unlike Best Coast, whose hazy sound often romanticizes love, Rich Girls captures the desolation found in the quest for romance. Like Jesus and the Mary Chain, Rich Girls makes distortion weighty with longing. “Open Water” would have been a great soundtrack for Lux waking up on the football field alone in The Virgin Suicides, and opener “New Bag” is about the kind of love (and drug abuse) that causes us to start hardening to protect our bruised selves. When lead singer and guitarist Luisa Black sighs “Love is the dealer, love is the drug” on the song “Loaded,” it’s not the playful comparison of the Kesha track. She underscores the dire consequences of romance by finishing “Love is the loaded gun.” Far from shying away from the danger, Black looks that gun full in the face and sings “shoot baby” because she knows that “love is the damage done.” It’s that kind of fearlessness that we all had as squishy blobs before the world forced us to contract our armored robots. The EP is only five songs, but there’s enough happening to make it feel momentous. It’s a pink blob that’s been dragged through the dirt, and listening can give you the kind of catharsis that heals in the way no set of robotic armor can provide.
Listen to Rich Girls on bandcamp.
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Mo Wilson is a writer who enjoys collecting posters and still has a CD player. You can find him on twitter @sadgayfriendx.