The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
Regular Columnists

CD REVIEW: The Histrioniks - About This Girl
By Chip Withrow - 07/24/2007 - 01:24 PM EDT

Artist: Histrioniks
Album: About This Girl
Website: http://www.the
Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: X, Breeders
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Perpendicular, Anger Cherry, Woman of the Tunes
CD Review: Sometimes I tell my high school students how great it is to broaden one’s horizons. Yet when it comes to the music I listen to, lately I am often guilty of lacking adventure and wrapping myself in mellow bliss.

But the Histrioniks’ About This Girl reminds me that I used to rock – really, I did. The disc is a fresh sonic blast for these ears, and it conjures memories of some of my favorites from my edgier days: the great LA punk/Americana outfit X in the ‘80s; the intense Breeders of the ‘90s; the slightly sinister, minor-key surf music that I first discovered on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack; and the band that made many others possible, the Velvet Underground.

Larry Levy is one half of the Histrioniks duo and he wrote most of the songs; he’s also the main guitarist (and a wickedly good one) and drummer. Singer Cat Levy (who also wrote a couple of the songs) has an ethereal, flexible voice that is well-suited for these oddly catchy tracks because, as the duo’s website explains, the album is meant to be excerpts from a girl’s diary.

Opening cut “Underneath It All” explodes off the album. It’s a big, bold dose of power pop – breakneck drums, thrashed guitars, and absolutely heavenly harmonies (Cat’s voice multi-tracked, I assume). “Whiskers A Go-Go” follows and keeps the feverish pace; it’s noteworthy for endearingly weird lyrics (cat references abound) and Larry’s reverb-soaked guitar.

Perhaps the best song on the disc is the spectral and absolutely infectious “Perpendicular.” A haunting chorus, swooping organ, Cat’s shimmering harmonies … brilliant.  The surf-punky “Woman of the Tunes” and the punchy “Anger Cherry” (which also has that riding-the-waves vibe) are just about as good.

Other treats are the nursery-rhyme, sing-songy “Fingers in the Rain;” the lyrically clever, erotic “My Name Was Yes;” the soulful ode to dominance and submission “Dominique;” and the new wave/flamenco (check out Larry’s acoustic solo) “Gone.”

Thanks, Histrioniks, for shaking me out of my rut and reminding me that a fresh dose of 2007 rock can remind me of so much great music I had forgotten about.

[ Current Articles | Archives ]

Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Regular Columnists
Music Reviews
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!

Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


© 1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement