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(Item no.: 597)
Label: Trakwerx
Released: 2007

Forever Free is the debut album by LA’s favorite avant-rockers The Spirit Girls. The band has an interesting origin – it grew out of “The Spirit Girls: Songs that Never Die,” a rock opera created by noted LA artist Marnie Weber. The opera follows a group of ghost girls on a fairytale-like journey as they search for a place to perform their songs and tell their stories.

Forever Free chronicles the lives and deaths of the Spirit Girls through expressive, multi-dimensional vocals, powerful, melodic guitars, thick psychedelic synths, and mournful cello riffs. The Spirit Girls’ sound has been described as something of a cross between Sonic Youth, King Crimson and 17th Century French Romantic paintings.

After performing “Songs That Never Die” to sellout crowds, Marnie decided to expand her original concept into a separate, but unique musical group. As an original member of LA’s legendary 80’s band The Party Boys, Marnie had little trouble recruiting the musicians she needed. Such notable musicians as Dani Tull (Polar Bear), Tamara Sussman (Bertha Mason and The Polio Kids), Tanya Haden (Silver Sun Pickups & the Haden Three) and Debbie Spinelli (Rad Waste, 17 Pygmies) all signed on as active members of the Spirit Girls.

And so the saga of this band of ghost girls continues, as they wander through a series of imaginary landscapes similar to those in the collages and films of Marnie Weber. With the renewed interest in 80’s “post-punk” music, Forever Free is sure to play well to today’s “alternative” audience while still appealing to the original punk set that still like to take a walk on the wild side. 

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This is the release CD by a band called "The Spirit Girls" which apparently have caused quite a buzz in their native California. Comprised of 5 female members, this band's music is firmly entrenched in what would be considered "avant-garde" music these days. This band grew out of a rock opera called "The Spirit Girls: Songs That Never Die" by Marnie Weber. I had never heard of such a piece of work myself, but for some this will be familiar. Simply judging this band by the cover should give you pretty much a good idea of what they are about, because the cover and the artwork alone remind me so much of some of the art that used to be prevalent in the 70s with some of the prog bands. The music then more or less follows the artwork on the cover and the rest of the CD. This is pretty much music that will not follow the ordinary path and thus cannot be considered commercial. The backbone of all the songs on this CD are more or less morose and laid back vocals by most of the members of this ensemble, accompanied by all kinds of keyboards and of all things a cello, which makes the music even more laid back but also gives it a more or less restless character. For me the song that easily stands out the most is "graveyard Song" which reminded me so much of parts of the fantastic Tiamat "Wildhoney" album with the laid back guitars and the ever present. Immediately after that song they switch to a track that reminds me of some of the experimental punk music in the 80s with bands like "Chrome" with the added ambiance by the cello sound. If you think you will be getting a happy go along album in the vein of the old Tom Tom Club you are in for a surprise. These women can actually play and all the compositions have a very strong personality, making this an album that you have to pay attention to. Finally, in my opinion they did a fantastic job in the actual recording of the whole enchilada. This sounds pretty much like a true stereo album, just like the ones they used to do in the 70s on vinyl. Why? Because in addition to the excellent sound across the board they actually mixed it up with both vocals and sound effects going from side to side as well as all over the soundstage the recording creates. This of course does not make it a "live" sounding CD, but definitely complements the music to perfection. 

January 6, 2007 By Carlos

Click on the Product Specification link to listen to the album on Last.FM.

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Information:
Genre
alternative / avant garde / post-punk
Nummers
1 Anthem For Ophelia
2 Milk Maid
3 The Hunted Little Green Grass Girl
4 Comforting the Bears
5 Small Town
6 Airstream Dream
7 Haunted Horse
8 Graveyard Song
9 Song For the Spirit Girls
10 The Ship Song
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Price per piece:
€ 13,95
The number of Sounds for Sure Spaarpunten granted for this product is 2
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Sounds for Sure • Wilgenhof 12 • 3355PA Papendrecht • The Netherlands