After months (and months and months) of utter anticipation, miesha & the spanks released their sophomore album, Girls, Like Wolves.
The record, which started streaming on Exclaim this morning, is laid out such that it moves from traditional miesha-&-the-spanks lo-fi garage rock, to wonderfully unexpected sounds – retro-esque, electro-tinged. The seamless transitions make for an album that is wholly interesting and enjoyable to listen to.
Take the title track, and record closer, ‘Girls, Like Wolves’. The song opens with Miesha Louie’s upbeat lo-fi guitars, punctuated with smacks of Stuart Bota’s symbols. Miesha’s distant and distorted vocals, with grainy guitars to match, are in full, fantastic form.
Throughout the song, she easily slides into her fantastic holler, especially during the chorus when the guitar and drums are shoved into overdrive.
The track builds to a spectacular finish with Miesha’s throaty holler and call-back style, with guitars and drums to keep the song perfectly grounded . . . or so you think.
After a great and deceiving pause, grainy guitars re-emerge with crashing, charging symbols and high-pitchy extended picks of guitar, and distend howls and hollers. . . before fading to a collage of crackling sounds and bells that carry on. . . .
That’s the type of unexpected amusement you can find on Girls, Like Wolves.
‘This Time’, meanwhile, features subdued drums and low-lying guitars. The vocals are more singsongy than we’ve heard from the band, and, paired with the echoing background vocals, the song gives off an almost ’50s vibe.
‘Something’ is a beat-conscious, toe-tapping track. Opening with deep, grainy guitars, steadying drums, and more lo-f nasally vocals, the song jumps into symbol-heavy territory for a moment before sliding back to put Miesha’s great vocals back into the fore front.
And with sing-along lyrics like: “Am I waiting for something? / I know I’m waiting for something / And it won’t let me go!” – why shouldn’t they be front and centre?
‘Song 10’, on the other hand, offers electro-tinted symbols with reverby guitars and the return Miesha’s whiskey-soaked throaty vocals. The track eases on before a heavy strum of scratchy guitar builds to a thence bass sound as Miesha chants, “Go back down, to the water. . . .”
‘Want You To Know’ opens with a fantastic happy growl of guitar. Drums push the track forward with highlights of symbols. Distant and slightly distorted vocals build to exciting chants – “I’m going to love you, baby, I just want you to know. . . .” – that only Miesha is capable of.
Slowing things down, ‘Look At You’ starts with Miesha’s mumbled and distant vocals. A fast beat of Stuart’s drums, paired with quick strums of guitar. The vocals pull back the track, slowing it down and adding to the utter excitement of the song.
The song breaks to calm you down before building throughout the verse to a fabulous wall of beautifully distorted sound that is the chorus.
After all those months of anticipation, Girls, Live Wolves is exactly what we wanted from miesha & the spanks: the unexpected.
For more on mesh & the spanks, visit their website.