SKELETONS AND THE GIRL-FACED BOYS
As a name for a rock band, Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys is a bit much.
But that makes it ideal for the self-conscious, post-everything Ohio combo that made "Git." Originally a solo project for Shinkoyo co-owner Matt Mehlan, Skeletons et al. has grown into a quintet that can be rightly likened to a dozen or more oddball predecessors, including Talking Heads, Brian Wilson and Autechre. With its falsetto vocals, stately melodies, clanking percussion and digital blurps, "Git" suggests an electro-funk-gamelan version of "Pet Sounds."
The album wanders from the opening "See the Way" and "Git" -- which, despite their odd timbres, are recognizable as songs -- all the way to "Do You Feel Any Better?" and "There's a Fly in Your Soup and I Put It There," in which the structures are collapsing and much of the music seems to be traveling backward. Highlights include "We Won't Be Proud, No No No," whose welter of vocals suggests a psychedelic barbershop quartet, and "While We Were at the Movies," a fragile lite-soul ballad jammed with interstellar transmissions. Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys is not for everyone, but this is one indie combo that lives up to its whacked-out name.
-- Mark Jenkins
Appearing Monday at DC9 with Fa She Monde.