Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

I like to think I'm a pretty rational guy. I'd like to entertain the notion that I've come to terms with causality, coincidence and how to differentiate between the two. I'd really like to think I'm the sort of level-headed fella who resists the urge to find some link between a random-song selecting algorithm and some sort of pseudo-intelligent, telepathic link between myself and my iPod. Because of all of that, I'll avoid thinking of the selection of The Flesh as my iPod's caring reminder that I've totally overlooked this band. I'll just apply my higher-level thinking skills and chalk it up to a lucky coincidence that popped this album up into my ear-buds and made me remember The Flesh all over again. Coming off last year's Firetower, "The Cradle, the Brothel and the Bible School" minces gooey female vocals that beg comparison (even from a rational mind) to The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde with guitar pop that, fittingly, also suggests The Pretenders. Instead of just borrowing their predecessors' formula, though, The Flesh flirts with doses of funk-like guitars, nurturing a melody only to watch it go up in flames as the chorus flares up into angular riffing that's straight out of the post-punk revival, and it's suddenly the work of a punk-rock sleeper cell working under the cover of a pop outfit. It's a reminder of just why I put The Flesh on my iPod to begin with. It's hooky, it's driving and singer Gabriella Zappia's vocals alone should sell you on the band. It's also a sad reminder of how easy it is for good bands to fall through the cracks: This album has sat on my shelf, nearly unlistened to for a year since I first heard it. I guess if I was the sort to attribute a personality to my iPod, I'd say it was reminding me to break out of my self-imposed musical ruts, or reminding me not to squirrel away good albums like this in hard-to-find spots on my CD shelving. But I'm not that kind of guy. I'm logical. I'm rational. I understand that my iPod's just a tiny computer, not a seer, psychic or soul mate. Now if I can just get a logical reason as to why I so rarely listen to The Flesh, I'll be in business.