Great rock and roll albums are made in a matter of hours. Not all great records — after all, Kevin Shields took twenty-two years to make the intoxicating masterpiece that is MBV; but some of the best pop music was cooked and seasoned in a stir fry session of recording. Just like George Harrison, eliciting his disdain over the number of hours (thirteen) it took to record the first Beatles LP, Montreal band She’s doesn’t see why a solid first release need take more than a few hours to assemble.
In fact, the EP is a byproduct of an entirely different recording session. She’s back another Montreal band, Blood. When the latter finished a day’s worth of recording at CJLO studios, and after the group shared a few drinks in the parking lot, the She’s four piece decided to give three tracks a try. It was all done very quickly with drummer Marhall Vaillancourt overseeing the productive wizardry.
The material is inherited — Andrew Bates fronts the group, bringing with him some marvellous material from his Victoria band Lake Country. But even if the songs aren’t She’s originals, it’s the arrangements and the space on the three recordings that make EP a joy to listen to.
“My Baby K” is a killer pop song, with lyrics that Phil Spector would deem chartable. It seems like a millennia ago that lines like “Eating pizza all day/ Wanna jump in the lake” were featured on any kind of Canadian billboard countdown, but if this is the content of the underground, the underground has a lot to say about simple pleasures. This track is also home to the EP’s most screeching possum of a guitar solo and the muddiest drums around, both features of good times and a great sounding balance between band and vocals.
“Crushin” features floating voices in a vast landscape of startlingly different guitar tones. Discordant jangles and moody, bass-heavy grooves guide listeners on a journey of just another night, filled with beer and best friends. Any fan of Slam Dunk or Fidlar will get behind the lyrical content. Anyone with ears will appreciate the fine arrangement in the song’s second half, where two sweeping transitions bring the tune to a close.
And finally, Montreal’s soon-to-be-anthem “Don’t Wanna Go To Work” offers more mud and guts to the sound of the album. The fairly Ramones-like title also sums up the spirit behind EP: have some fun before you go — there will always be more work and worrying to be done.
Thankfully, there will also be more She’s gracing the face of the internet shortly, as the band plans a new release in the early part of 2014. These boys can churn out a gem of a record in a couple of hours. It will be fun to see what a few more months produces.
Top Tracks: “Crushin”; “My Baby K”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)