Unexpected Ways To Find Your Zen
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All Girl Summer Fun Band: Kim Baxter (vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums); Kathy Foster (vocals, guitar, bass, drums); Jen Sbragia (vocals, guitar); Ari Douangpanya (vocals, bass, drums).Recorded at Type Foundry, Portland, Oregon in November 2002.Personnel: Jen Sbragia (vocals, guitar); Kim Baxter (vocals, keyboards, typewriter).Audio Mixer: Jeremy Romagna. Recording information: Type Foundry, Portland, OR (11/2002).Illustrator: Jen Sbragia. Photographer: Michael Lavine. On their second album, the All Girl Summer Fun Band offer more of the spunky punk-pop with which they established themselves, taking much inspiration both from 1960s girl groups and late-'70s/early-'80s girl group-influenced punk and new wave bands. It's not an original format, no, and it's got its limitations. All that said, this is highly enjoyable and superior for its genre, with genuinely catchy, likable melodies and fairly witty, flippant lyrics. Boy-girl, or at least young man-young woman, romance is a theme that runs through a lot of these songs. But there are twists that you wouldn't likely have heard on Shangri-Las or even Blondie records, like a flame with a "Video Game Heart," or a plea to "Becky" to borrow her boyfriend. Most of this is uptempo stuff that's fun to bop along to, but it helps when a little more diversity creeps in, as in the slower and more atmospheric "Daydreaming" with its eerie high drones, the creepy synthesizer hooks of "Video Game Heart," and the almost tender high harmonies of "Becky," which is catchy in a cool mid-'60s pop/rock sense. ~ Richie Unterberger
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