The 1975 are the new hot indie alternative U.K. import of the moment. Like many bands before them they have captured the collective excitement of American music fans who are starving for good alternative music. Pop-Break’s chief designer Nick Porcaro has been their biggest supporter on Pop-Break and with the band’s debut record dropping this week (look for Nick’s review tomorrow) — we knew we had to review their single “Girls.”
Nick Porcaro: The 1975’s latest in a series of strong singles, “Girls” is one of those songs I really, REALLY want to hate…but I can’t. Look past the calculated, done-to-death ’80s sound and it’s clear this song is just immaculately crafted. From that funky riff to the teasingly quiet first verse lead-in, a chorus to die for and the wonderfully wacky bridge section that follows, every moment counts. Frontman Matthew Healy brings the heat lyrically as well—you gotta love a song that finds a way to turn a line like “I know you’re looking for salvation in the secular age, but girl I’m not your savior” into a singalong hook. Well played, guys. Verdict: Add to Playlist
Kelly Spoer: The people who claim that this song sounds like it should be in a John Hughes movie apparently have never seen a John Hughes movie. This is an unmemorable pop song that after a few listens, you’ll want to rip your ears out. To top it off, it’s boring. If you want a good song about a 17 year old girl look towards Broken Social Scene’s “Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl.” Verdict: One and Done.
Jason Kundrath: I don’t have too much time to write this, but I don’t need much. This single is a meticulously crafted joke. I can’t remember another song where so many guitars sounded so toothless and hollow. It sounds like It was created in a sterile lab by jingle writers, challenged to appeal to the youth with some carefree, dance pop. Toss in some dramatic vocals, too. To make the girls swoon. But the result is too cheesy even for a commercial. Instead, It sounds like some lost bumper music to 1992’s Saved by the Bell Hawaiian Style or something. No no no no. Verdict: One and DONE
Jason Stives: The release of the debut record from the 1975 has been a hotly anticipated one thanks once again to the aggressive British music press. For the most part it’s a justified one and you need look no further than the band’s latest single “Girls.” The band’s overall sound on the track is quite accessible to our shores with its fresh cut of 80’s jangling guitar and synth pop. Props must also be given to singer Matt Healy who really utilizes a catchy chorus by speaking in a vernacular all unto itself giving it that authentic British edge. There is a cheesy quality to the style but the groove and hook is just too good to pass up delivering another solid single from this band’s much talked about debut record. Verdict: Add to Playlist
Matt Agosta: I don’t really have a critical opinion on the song. It’s not really music I listen to normally and I don’t want to try to force an opinion. I didn’t think the song was good and I didn’t think the song was bad either and I’d rather not give an uneducated opinion, it wouldn’t do the band justice. Verdict: Abstain
Bill Bodkin: There aren’t many songs we’ve covered on The Singles Party that I haven’t been able to get through a full listen. I’ve tried five different times to listen The 1975’s “Girls” and I just can’t make it through the whole thing. This has nothing to do with the lyricism or musicality of the song, it’s a well-constructed pop song. It’s catchy, it’s laden with hooks that don’t leave your internal stereo…but it also makes me want to set myself on fire. This is like listening to Peter Gabriel, if Peter Gabriel decided to make really saccharine sweet corporate pop. Actually a better, but more harsh description of the band would this — The 1975 sounds like a result of Maroon5 having a lovechild with One Republic and then letting the guys from Soul Decision raise it. Yes, I referenced Soul Decision.
But…maybe this is what The 1975 are — a pop band. Maybe my impression of them, that they were another alt rock band from the U.K. was wrong. Maybe that’s why this song makes me want to self-immolate, because I was expecting something else.
Yet in my musical heart, I believe that even if my impression was wrong, I know that I could not listen to this song all the way through on five separate occasions over a three day period. And to me, that means… Verdict: One and done.
Final Verdict: The nays have it. There’s a strong dislike for this song amongst the naysayers but those who did love it make a solid case for it.