All Girl Summer Fun Band

By - May 1st, 2003 02:52 pm
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By Greg Sampson

For a time I thought it unfortunate for the girls of All Girl Summer Fun Band that I remembered their 2002 self-titled release mostly for its lukewarm reception by many critics. I remember hearing the album myself, and while I found their music catchy and even pleasant, my overall reaction could not be characterized as much more than, well, underwhelmed. It wasn’t long before I moved on to other bands who I thought were doing something more interesting and meaningful, whose music had more depth than the giggly, bubblegum punk that AGSFB were turning out.

Remembering the arrogant conclusion I jumped to last year, AGSFB’s latest release, 2, really sounds like a straight-out ‘screw you’ to all the self-righteous critics who dismissed them as being too girly, too high-school, and their music too thin. In this album they’re still singing about the same crushes and make out sessions, and have even added some celebrity worship into the mix (get this: they wrote a song called – you know it – “Jason Lee.”). But in this album they sound surer of themselves, more like they know that yes, this is in fact the music they want to be making, and these are the things they want to be singing about. They don’t care what I, or any other critic for that matter, thinks. Good for them.

The subtle bad attitude they exude seems to work for AGSFB on this album, and it makes 2 compelling and listenable. Only the truly heartless wouldn’t find a song like “Samantha Secret Agent” so catchy that it didn’t merit a second listening.

By staying on the same road on which they started with their first album, they seem to have created a sense of progression with this release, which is a good thing. But now that they’ve shown they aren’t going to change for the critics, the big question is whether AGSFB will change for themselves. As we all know, the novelty of a band and the catchiness of its music is a fleeting thing, and audiences are notoriously fickle when that’s all there is to hang on to. So they will have to change, or they will disappear. The good news? All Girl Summer Fun Band is more than attitude, catchiness, and late-teens/early-twenties romanticism. Something might be happening in 2, just below the rigid adherence to their undergraduate ways. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some real growth in their music in the future.

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